Please click here to see a copy of the report
Solace is calling on local government to ‘reclaim children’s services’ from national Government and inspectorates.
The report sets out the case for councils to use their democratic legitimacy, informal power and role as ‘place-shapers’ to champion better outcomes for all the children and young people in their place.
Our ambition in education and social care services must be high. But we must also look beyond the traditional and promote young people’s health and wellbeing, their economic prospects and their ability to participate in society. Leaders, both political and managerial, need to play their role in championing the broader children’s agenda.
This will require systemic changes both locally and nationally. We need a renewed programme of workforce reform to promote a more integrated children’s workforce equipped to deliver holistic services. Stronger mechanisms for sector-led improvement and a new, localist assurance mechanism are also needed to encourage and support innovation.
We also need to consider what deregulation would enable councils to take a truly ‘whole place’ approach to children and families issues. Local authorities as an autonomous, self-confident sector must be enabled to innovate, to define for themselves what ‘good’ looks like and to shape localities into places where all children are safe, happy and able to pursue their ambitions.