Recommendations are made, people are blamed, a few practices are altered yet things haven't really changed. Children are still suffering. A report out last Monday, by the Centre for Social Justice, found that child protection and mental health services were in crisis, with thousands of vulnerable children not getting the support they so desperately need.
Following this report, Kids Company, led by founder Camila Batmangelidgh, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at BritMums Live last Saturday, launched a campaign yesterday called 'See the Child, Change the System' to highlight this fundamental lack of support and call for major changes. On Saturday Camila spoke of social services failing children on a 'catastrophic level', yet so many social workers feel they can't speak out for fear of reprisals.
Did you know that local authorities don't really know the true number of children at risk in their areas because to do so would mean they had a legal responsibility to help them? There are so many more vulnerable children out there who need help - the NSPCC estimates that for every child granted a protection plan, another 8 are left unprotected. That is a shocking figure. Even to type those figures makes me angry. I know from hearing other adopters' experiences and a knowledge of what has since passed in my local authority that children have suffered terribly from a lack of support, a lack of care, a blind eye maybe, a lack of knowledge, an apathy, not our responsibility, a shift of blame.
Kids Company, through their campaign, want the public to sign a petition that calls for an independent task force to redesign the whole system. This task force will devise a new in-depth child protection and social care model that will be trialled within a couple of local authorities and then rolled out nationally.
Something drastic needs to be done.
Please watch this video and show your support for these changes by signing the petition at www.seethechild.org or text I SEE to 63000.