Communities hold the key to children’s social care

By Pawda Tjoa | 15 January 2020

The Prime Minister placed the NHS at the heart of the election campaign and he succeeded with a near-landslide victory. But he is at risk of neglecting its less popular cousin: social care. If he really meant it when he promised to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’ on the steps of Downing Street, he needs to start by putting the protection of society’s most vulnerable on an equal footing with looking after its most physically unwell.

This does not just mean funding, although there is clearly a huge discrepancy in this respect – an additional £34bn per year is being promised to the NHS, compared to £1bn per year more to adult social care and children’s social care combined. With more than 78,000 children now in care and the number of children in need increasing by 4% between 2017 and 2018, the challenge is colossal. And, while the sector undoubtedly needs more financial investment, the scale of the problem cannot be solved simply by pumping more money into the system.

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