Children in Care

Department for Education written question – answered on 10th July 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the need for children to be taken into care or classified as "in need" of child support.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The government wants every child to be in a stable, loving home that is right for them.

One of the key principles of the legislation that underpins the UK’s child protection system is that children are best looked after within their families.

The government is funding several programmes that seek to reduce need and support more children to stay at home in stable family environments, where this is in the child’s best interests. We are investing £84 million over five years as part of the Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme and over £17 million to support families through the Supporting Families: Investing in Practice programme. The government has also committed £1.085 billion to the Troubled Families Programme to achieve significant and sustained improvement for families with multiple, high-cost problems by 2021.

Good social work practice is key to helping families who need support to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children. This is why we have invested over £100 million since 2017 on child and family social worker development programmes to ensure every social worker has the skills and knowledge they need.

Across the government, we are tackling the problems that cause children to be in need in the first place. This includes better supporting those with alcohol-dependent parents, the introduction of landmark legislation for those affected by domestic abuse, preventing young people being drawn into serious violence, and unprecedented investment in early years education and support for children and young people’s mental health.

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