Following months of uncertainty, the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) has announced that the work of the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC) will be able to continue.
A new service called NCB Residential Child Care (NCBRCC), led by former manager of the NCERCC Jonathan Stanley, will continue the centre’s remit of sector-led support and improvement. An NCB spokesperson said the funding had come from existing resources.
The NCBRCC will maintain services such as the NCERCC’s website, which will be renamed and enlarged, and the Children’s Residential Network, as well as developing and promoting a training and consultancy service and undertaking an assessment of its longer-term potential for growth and development.
The announcement – which follows the former government’s decision to put the NCERCC’s annual funding towards a new private contract for supporting and challenging children’s homes – will delight supporters of the NCERCC, who were concerned the charity’s body of work would be lost.
Stanley said: “With NCBRCC we will continue our work of translating policy into effective practice, making a real difference to children and practitioners and continue to advocate for the voices of children in residential child care to be heard and for their needs to be addressed.”
The new service provides, he said, “an opportunity to carry on supporting the whole residential child care sector, including local authorities, voluntary and private, care, education and health organisations.”
He added: “We have been greatly boosted by the hundreds of messages received from the sector detailing the benefits they have gained from NCERCC, as a model of the significant improvements in outcomes that can be made by sector-led support.
“The sector repeatedly tells us that without services like NCERCC and NCBRCC, partnership working would be much harder and more isolated, and that these services help residential child care to be recognised, respected and listened to as a profession, with consequent outcomes and opportunities for the young people in our care being raised significantly.”