Medway Labour Group React to Dramatic Report on Future of Children’s Services

Medway Labour and Cooperative Group today reacted to ‘The Case for Change’, a national report on the future of children’s social care.  The report, prepared by a group chaired by Josh MacAlister, presents a damning portrait of children’s social care after twelve years of Conservative government.  The report highlights a bureaucratic system that, all too often, fails to meet the needs of children and families.  It calls for action to build on family strengths and to provide meaningful support for young people.  That support includes strengthening universal services.  The report highlights the growing financial deficit in children’s social care and the need for increased funding, including the funding to provide meaningful reform.

Cllr Pat Cooper, Medway Labour and Cooperative member of Medway’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee said today:

“This excellent report sets a clear challenge: we must make sure that children’s social care works for the benefit of Medway families and young people.  The report notes that funding of non-statutory services has fallen by 35%.  We have seen that here in Medway, with the loss of our children’s centres that provided so much valuable support for families.  Those universal services helped all families cope with the pressures they faced and avoided escalation to statutory services.”

Cllr Clive Johnson, Medway Labour and Cooperative Shadow Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:

“This report is a wake-up call, not least for Medway’s Conservative administration.  The report details the way our national system of support for children and families is crumbling under pressure from increased demand, falling funding, insecure employment and housing, loss of services for mental health and substance misuse.  Can Conservative Medway continue to provide the assurance that our children’s services, found to be inadequate, will continue to be given the funding that Medway’s children and families deserve?  We will hold them to account on that vital issue.”

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