Kids Company launches major campaign to restructure children’s social care

High profile campaign has secured an independent children's task force and the backing of sector bodies and celebrities

Camila Batmanghelidjh
Camila Batmanghelidjh CBE, founder and CEO of Kids Company (credit: Reckoner Films)

Children’s charity Kids Company has today launched a major campaign and established an independent task force to address the “crisis” in children’s social care services.

It follows the publication of a damning report by think-tank the Centre for Social Justice, which analysed the cases of 20 children supported by Kids Company. Researchers found “staggering” failures in the care and support provided by their local authorities.

The 400-page report included evidence of illegal practices by local authorities to prevent children from accessing care, and testimonies from social workers who report the system is “completely overwhelmed”.

Support the campaign

Community Care is supporting the campaign – to improve the system for both children and social care professionals.

You can show your support by signing the petition or texting ‘I SEE’ to 63000 (standard network charges will apply).

Blowing the whistle

The campaign, See the Child, Change the System, is supported by organisations, including the British Association of Social Workers and Unison. It aims to force politicians to acknowledge and address the problems faced by children and professionals.

In the run up to the campaign, social workers and other children’s professionals shared their concerns and experiences with Kids Company and its founder and CEO Camila Batmanghelidjh CBE.

The charity stated today: “Over the years it has been convenient to place the blame for the failures on professionals who work with children, or to ignore the problem altogether. But social workers, child mental health workers, head teachers and children’s professionals have now whistle-blown on a broken system.”

How the campaign will work

An independent ‘Children’s Task Force’ has already been formed, with former director of public prosecutions Sir Keir Starmer signed up as chair. It plans to develop a comprehensive child protection and child well-being delivery model and a 15-year plan to restructure children’s social care and mental health services.

According to Kids Company, the board will draw on “extensive clinical, economic and social care expertise from around the world”. Its members will include children’s commissioner Dr Maggie Atkinson, former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, head of psychology at University College London, Professor Peter Fonagy OBE and NSPCC director of strategy Lisa Harker.

The campaign is backed by a host of famous names, from Stephen Fry and Thandie Newton to Russell Brand and Damien Hirst.

Camila Batmanghelidjh called the campaign “a social action initiative driven by permission to admit to the real scale of the problem, and hopeful that resolute action will change the system and make it fit for purpose”.

“Surely vulnerable children deserve to have their courage matched by society’s courage to dream the best reparation for them.”

  • Kids Company is calling on professionals and the public to stand up for vulnerable children by signing a petition to vote for change. You can show your support by texting “I SEE” to 63000 (standard network charges apply) or signing the petition online.

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3 Responses to Kids Company launches major campaign to restructure children’s social care

  1. John Ramsey June 25, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    I can go some of the way with this. Children’s social care does indeed need to be prioritised and a 15 year plan agreed by the major parties is a good idea. But how exactly would it be restructured? Do we really need restructuring again or just adequate resources? I would wish to know more about this.

  2. Sarah B June 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    I agree that children’s social care needs to be altered. However, restructuring from the outside is also a crucial element. The threshold for classifying children at risk has been altered so significantly that it leaves all health care workers and families limited to the types of services they can utilise. Additionally, the amount of services and budgets that have been cut in communities, introduces many more children and their families, who may not have been at risk initially, susceptible to detrimental risks, which is not acknowledged as an ‘at risk’ criteria. I think the focus should be uniting with all services, highlighting that this situation is unacceptable and demand change. I will support changes within the policy structure, with the view to support and enable children and their families to be aware that they are being purposefully excluded and targeted as feckless benefit cheats who do not want to work. At the expense of those in health care, who’s hands are tied by the managerial targets that are pushed to be met, above and beyond the values and principles of social justice and ethical considerations of our fellow neighbours.

  3. anne marie yates July 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    I agree with most of this however I do not feel the blame approach works and is not productive
    A positive and appreciated enquiry is needed with also the prioritisation of childrens safety at the top and a culture were professionals are free to speak out and voice any concerns.