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14th December 2015

Solace statement on the Prime Minister’s announcement on Children’s Services

On Monday 14th December 2015 the Prime Minister announced new measures to intervene to tackle ‘struggling’ children’s services. This is a response from Phil Norrey, Solace spokesperson for Children and Families and Chief Executive of Devon County Council.

We welcome the recognition from the Prime Minister that how we deliver Children’s Services up and down the country requires attention. Effectively protecting children is absolutely crucial. However, many local authorities are facing reduced funding alongside increased demand for services, as well as big difficulties in recruiting both the workforce and the strong leadership required to meet these challenges, all compounded by an unhelpful inspection regime.

We are now at a point where there needs to be more of a radical re-evaluation of how these services are provided. We need a clear and balanced review of how local authorities, and all partner agencies, including schools, the police, the NHS and the voluntary sector, can best deliver a system that works. The systemic instability of the current system will not be solved by imposing external solutions in only a few of the worst performing authorities.