The National Children’s Bureau will continue to employ Jonathan Stanley, manager of the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC), and is investigating options for filling the gap left by the loss of government funding for the centre.
The announcement follows a groundswell of support from the sector as children’s homes professionals urged the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) to help save the centre, which lost its £300,000 annual funding last month after the government awarded a contract to consultancy firm Tribal.
The government decided the NCERCC’s funding would be better spent on a new scheme to “challenge and support” children’s homes. Tribal will begin work on the project next month.
Sir Paul Ennals, chief executive of the NCB, said he was “delighted” that NCERCC manager Jonathan Stanley had agreed to stay, “to help us explore what future opportunities exist”.
“The NCB has been committed to supporting children in residential care for nearly 20 years now. We are proud of the NCERCC’s successes, and proud of the way we have worked with the sector to ensure that our work was genuinely “sector-led”.
“It has been gratifying in turn to see the support we have received since the news of our unsuccessful tender bid. We very much want to continue to improve the experience and outcomes for children in residential care, building on our experience and our unrivalled contacts, if we can identify the funding,” Ennals said.
He told Community Care that the NCB would be convening a meeting of “selected key agencies” in the coming weeks “to gather ideas as to what is possible”.
He encouraged any organisation with an interest in supporting the NCERCC to come forward. “It is clear from the mood of the sector that they want to support us,” he added.