We are a charity created, governed and inspired by other charities. Our mission is to change the world for England’s children by harnessing the energy, ingenuity and expertise of the voluntary organisations that work on their behalf.
This briefing looks at The Children and Social Work Bill during the summer recess of 2016. It has been through House of Lords Grand Committee stage and is due at Report stage in October.
“…after the recent DfE report on cuts to local children’s services budgets, can anyone really doubt that it is too little money, not too much law, that poses the greatest problem for children’s services today?” Kathy Evans on the Children and Social Work Bill
The news of 4Children’s closure marks the loss of a significant nationally-recognised charity name that has been serving thousands of children and families over several decades. Our first thoughts are with the many skilled and dedicated people who are today facing redundancy. It is a great relief to know that redundancies have been minimised and most of 4Children’s direct practice will be continued thanks to collaboration with Action for Children and others.
For the children’s charity sector the news that such a large and recognised charity as 4Children has wound up in such serious difficulties will be both a shock and a warning sign. 4Children was operating in a highly competitive public sector marketplace and viewed by many smaller organisations in the sector as benefitting significantly from their scale and profile. Yet they have proved unable to keep going on their own. The serious financial fragility of the children’s services ‘marketplace’ is a very real and urgent problem, for large and small organisations alike.
Far from being medicine or dentistry, the voluntary sector can’t guarantee high wages and rapid student debt-repayment. And although we’d love to know that all young people have the same range of opportunities open to them as they finish school and wonder what to do next, it’s simply not the case.
“…the administration costs attached to the current welfare system are huge and are only likely to increase as means-testing the digital economy becomes more complex and the amount of unemployed people swells and churns. A universal basic income would enormously decrease these costs.” Part 2 of Camilla Harris’s blog in Universal Basic Income
“It has become clear over the last few weeks that our current system is failing. But in a hopeless situation where unjustness may seem to prevail, there is one policy that I believe has the potential to change everything.” Camilla Harris on Universal Basic Income.
“We owe it to our children and to the very process of civic reasoning to recognise the fact that children also possess morally relevant feelings and ideas to which serious consideration is due.” Dr Joshua Forstenzer considers children and citizenship.
Children England believes the time is right to create a single strategic leadership board for all children in need of care and adoption (including fostering and kinship carers), rather than continuing with policy and market development in separate service-defined silos within the care system.
It is imperative that the voices of children and young people are heard loudly and clearly at such a crucial time in shaping the future of the UK, and indeed the EU.
Does the commissioner you work with make good grants? Do they make grants at all?
The Grants for Good campaign is calling on all voluntary sector organisations who deliver public services to complete our super-quick survey on grant-making by commissioners. All responses will help us build up a picture of where and how grants are being made across the country, find good practice and show commissioners who’ve got into bad grant-making habits what good grant-making looks like!