The children in care green paper has significant cost implications and pays scant attention to key issues concerning looked-after children, according to town hall leaders.
The claims came in a joint response to the Care Matters consultation, which closed this week, from the Association of Directors of Social Services, Local Government Association and Confederation of Children’s Services Managers.
They said plans to give children a veto on leaving care before 18, increase the number of looked-after children in boarding schools and improve skills and training for foster carers would be expensive.
The response also criticised the green paper for failing to tackle delays in the family courts system despite its adverse impact on children, and for paying insufficient attention to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. They warned there was a “de facto two-tier approach” to provision determined by children’s immigration status, with a lower level of service for unaccompanied minors.
In its response, the British Association of Social Workers suggested the green paper had overlooked mental health services. It said the paper implied that “if the education is right, then other problems will lessen or be resolved”.
“This is a misinterpretation as to why children come into care, and their experiences in there,” BASW’s response said.