Progress of the review so far

Since the independent review of children’s social care was announced on 15th January, I have been struck by the response I have received – both by the number of people who have offered their support to the review and the overwhelming desire for us to do so much better for children and families.

As today is my first official day as Chair of the review, I wanted to update you on the progress that’s been made since the review launched and my thinking on the future work of the review.

Early thinking on plans for the review

To mark my first day on the review, I’ve decided to set out the early thinking on the review’s work, both the question I think we should try to answer and how we will approach answering it. This has been informed by the many responses I’ve received from the Call for Advice. You can read more about this here.

I want this review to be a transparent and iterative process, and so I’ll regularly share what I’m thinking and open it up for feedback and improvement. I’m sure I won’t always get things right the first time, and inevitably not everyone will always agree, but by having a debate and listening to a range of voices, I believe we will be able to build the best possible recommendations about how to reform the system and achieve real change. If you have any thoughts on this document, please send them through.

Experts by Experience Board

I am delighted to announce that the review’s new Experts by Experience Board has now been appointed and will meet for the first time later today. The scale and quality of interest we received has been fantastic and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved so far. You can learn more about the members of the Board here.

Over the coming weeks the Board will be making decisions about how the review will hear the voices of others with lived experience of children’s social care and this will also be shared in the coming weeks. We want every single person who applied – as well as many others – to be part of the review.

Call for Advice and Call for Evidence 

When I launched the review I was determined to do things a bit differently and to start with a Call for Advice rather than a formal Call for Evidence to shape my thinking about the review. To date we’ve received over 750 responses to the Call for Advice, raising invaluable points that are helping to shape my thinking. I am committed to reading every response and I know that there are many organisations who are still gathering views – please keep your responses coming as they are continually shaping my thinking. My plan is to publish blogs in the coming weeks setting out how we’ve taken the Call for Advice into account in different aspects of the review’s work.

To supplement the Call for Advice, I am also today launching the first of a number of Calls for Evidence. This first one is aimed primarily at the research community and those with robust evidence the review should consider. It is likely that I will want to ask more specific questions as evidence gaps emerge and if there are areas to focus on, where I’ll also need help from the research community. The Call for Evidence will supplement the Call for Advice – every document submitted through the Call for Advice is being considered. You can read more about the Call for Evidence, and submit information here. The Call for Evidence 2021 will be open until 30th March.

Keeping in touch

I am delighted to have been able to launch this website today. This website is important because it provides an independent space where we can provide updates on the progress of the review, events and other ways to get involved.

We’ve also launched a review twitter account please follow us for updates on the work of the review.

As always if you have any questions about the review’s work then please email us at Review.ChildrensSocialCare@education.gov.uk.

Thanks again for all your advice and support and I look forward to speaking with many of you in the coming weeks and months.

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