BASW slams “unnecessary” review of children’s homes

The Martin Narey review is a "costly repetition" of an education committee inquiry two years ago, BASW chair Guy Shennan said

Photo: Maya Kruchancova/Fotolia

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.

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4 Responses to BASW slams “unnecessary” review of children’s homes

  1. Vivien Freeman November 4, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    Unless the Government is prepared to fund a total reorganisation of Children’s Residential Care,to look after our most damaged children, providing highly skilled , experienced workers who do not do shift work, who have the right and ability to stop children going wherever they wish, with no-one picking them up at night, nothing will change. Additionally a great deal more funding is needed by CAHMS.

    A review is a total waste of time and money.

  2. Fred November 5, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    I see that Martin Narey has been a big cheese in the civil service with past experience of being in charge of the prison service. His experience of locking up troubled young people no doubt makes him entirely suitable (in some eyes) to lead the review of childrens residential care.

    In February 2013, he began advising Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education on children’s social care.

    It is just 2 years since Mr Narey was knighted for “services to vulnerable people”. Obviously unlike some of the bankers and hedge fund managers who fund the conservative party, Mr Narey was fully deserving of his gong.

    It is quite extraordinary that BASW should be so suspicious. How on earth would anyone believe that someone knighted under the watch of the current prime minister and chancellor who is an advisor to Mr Gove could be anything other than an entirely independent and fair minded man? The suggestion that Mr Narey’s “review” is just a quick means to pave the way for wholesale privatization of social care is obviously quite scandalous.

  3. Georgina November 5, 2015 at 11:40 am #

    Fred, I hope you are not being sarcastic.

    It is perfectly obvious that children’s homes run properly by the private sector would be a massive improvement on all the namby pamby do gooding approach that has let our children down so badly.

    Who would you trust to protect vulnerable children – G4S or well meaning social workers?

    No doubt some will whine on about Government cuts. The truth is that G4S could do a miles better job for half the money.

    is an interesting link to how well trusted G4S are by the Government.
    Now if they can trust such important things to G4S surely our most vulnerable children will be so much safer.

  4. Georgina November 5, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    Oh Vivien how can you say that?

    The man in charge of the review is a former Prisons boss who was knighted only a couple of years ago. I am certain there will be a full, honest and entirely open review led by Michale Gove’s advisor; folllowed by large scale privatization.Splendid news!

    This is bound to save money.

    After all who would you rather look after our most damaged children – well meaning social workers or G4S?