Martin Narey’s review of residential childcare is “unnecessary” and a “costly repetition” of an inquiry held two years ago, the British Association of Social Workers has said.
Narey’s review of residential children home provision was announced by the Prime Minister last week, but BASW members queried “if it is the government’s way of seeking validation of an already agreed strategy”.
The association said it had been contacted by members who had responded to the Education committee’s inquiry on the topic in 2013, and were confused about why they were being asked for “the same information again just two years later”.
Guy Shennan, BASW chair, said the political drivers behind the announcement needed to be examined.
“The provision of children’s care has become a commodity predicted to be very lucrative for private companies. The timing of this review is extremely tight, with a deadline of only two months including the Christmas period,” he said.
He also claimed that BASW members “find it hard not to see this latest announcement as anything more than a further roll out of the government’s privatisation agenda”.
Social workers were tired of decisions being made under a consultation “smoke screen”, Shennan said.
“The primary objective of this latest review should be to listen to what children in care are saying, to reduce placement moves, to be aspirational for children in care; not for them to become part of a commissioning commodity,” Shennan said.
While the association said the review was an “unnecessary and costly repetition with a restrictive deadline”, it will provide a full response.
Narey’s review of residential children’s care is for open consultation until 31 December 2015.