We’re calling on the next Prime Minister to deliver radical reform of children’s social care

Alongside other leading children’s charities - Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society, National Children’s Bureau and Action for Children - we’ve written to Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to call on them to commit to a radical reform of the children’s social care system in England.


Sir Peter Wanless (NSPCC), Lynn Perry MBE (Barnardo’s), Mark Russell (The Children’s Society), Anna Feuchtwang (National Children’s Bureau) and Melanie Armstrong (Action for Children) have written to the two candidates to be the next Prime Minister.

This letter urges them to prioritise implementing the recommendations from the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care should they make it to Number 10.

In the letter the five chief executives emphasise how without leadership and action from the top of Government outcomes for vulnerable children and families will remain stubbornly poor across the country.

They say: 

“In the next ten years, there will be approaching 100,000 children in care, up from 80,000 today. A flawed system will cost over £15 billion per year, up from £10 billion now (Independent Review of Children's Social Care, 2022).

Young people who grow up in care are three times less likely to be in education, employment or training by the time they reach 19.

Our latest research, Stopping the Spiral, also shows spending on late intervention services soared by more than a third (37%) over the last decade, from £6bn to £8.2bn. This is skewing the system towards crisis intervention, and too often families cannot access help with problems such as mental health, domestic abuse, or drug and alcohol misuse until it is too late.”

Wanless, Perry, Russell, Feuchtwang and Armstrong also talk about how their charities have been working with care-experienced young people, listening to their experiences and insight, and supporting them in contributing to the Independent Review.

The chief executives say their stories reflect a system that’s broken, speaking to the deep trauma, heartbreak and anger: caused not just by the situation that had befallen their family, but by the system itself, with some of them resorting to running away from placements.

Read the letter in full

The letter reads:


“Of the hundreds of young people, we, as expert organisations, have come into contact with throughout the Review process, the unifying sentiment is that the care system let them down, and badly.

We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to radically reform the children’s social care system in England so that fewer children enter the system, and those who do are provided with the best possible care. Our charities stand ready to work with you to put vulnerable children at the heart of your Government.”