It rightly lays out the stark realities of today’s Britain and the continuing inequalities faced by families.
Response to the Northeast Submission to The Care Review
ICHA Response to the Northeast Submission to The Care Review
The Northeast submission to the Care Review is a strong and impactful piece and the ICHA supports the vast majority of its recommendations. It rightly lays out the stark realities of today’s Britain and the continuing inequalities faced by families and those tasked with serving them. ICHA totally supports the call for national measures to reduce poverty in order to break the cycle of deprivation and join with the call for long-term commitment by the government to sustained and flexible interventions for families in need.
There are however areas on which we disagree.
The often-quoted ‘cherry picking’ indulged in by private providers is one. Local authorities who provide homes invariably place internally before looking elsewhere. Only looking to external providers for those children too complex to be placed with them. Their risk level for accepting complex children is significantly lower than private providers, as they are using public money to fund their enterprise not their own, so if they fail, their personal circumstances do not change.
The call to dismantle the current independent residential care sector or move it piecemeal into local authority stewardship is another.
Local authorities, despite their massive infrastructures, do not currently run their homes any better or more cheaply than independent providers. This is supported by Ofsted and PSSRU findings year on year. There is nothing to suggest that returning homes to local authorities will miraculously change this.
We call instead for a change in how homes are used. Early use of collaborative foster care that enables children to transition better and have improved outcomes is just one way.
Stopping using homes as a last resort is another.
The Northeast prides itself on collaborative working. Perhaps there is a need to look at how providers are able to make a profit whilst keeping costs lower than local authorities. Maybe more collaborative working to better understand money management is in fact part of the way forward?
Notes to Editors
The Independent Children’s Homes Association Ltd (ICHA) is the voice of providers of residential child care services and resources across England and Wales. We are a Not-for-Profit Limited Company.
ICHA’s Vision: ‘Exemplary Residential Child Care.’
ICHA’s Mission: ‘A member-led organisation driving excellence in residential child care through innovation, collaboration, and sector leadership’.
ICHA represents both large and small providers. Some members have just one home whilst others have many homes across a wide geographic area.
CEO of ICHA