New Children’s Commissioner

The Secretary of State for Education confirmed Dame Rachel de Souza as the next Children’s Commissioner for England

Last week, the Secretary of State for Education confirmed Dame Rachel de Souza as the next Children’s Commissioner for England. She will begin this role in Spring 2021, taking over from Anne Longfield OBE who has been in post since March 2015.

The Children’s Commissioner plays a vital role in the lives of vulnerable children as they have a legal duty to promote and protect the rights of all children in England, but particularly those in or leaving the care system, living away from home of receiving support from social care services. The Commissioner, who is independent of Government and Parliament, has unique data-gathering powers and the right to enter any premises where children are without warning, enabling her to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of children in the system and across the country to Government.

We wish to thank Anne Longfield for her relentless commitment to this role over the past five years and the progress and change she has secured in that time. Since the beginning, she has shared that the number one message she has heard repeatedly from children and young people has been the importance of stability. Her subsequent development of the Stability Index has been formative in providing a holistic measure which brings together three factors (placement moves, social worker changes and school moves) which play a pivotal role in forming vulnerable children’s experiences and sense of stability.

In recent years, we welcome the attention she has given to teenagers in the care system who have too-often been placed in inappropriate and low-quality forms of unregulated provision. Her leadership and voice within this space has been marked by a desire to do better for these children and to provide them with the support they need. We thank her for her resolute determination to listen to children and young people and take their views seriously. This was evident most recently through an inspiring webinar where she outlined her vision for the care system in light of the upcoming Care Review in England but then stepped aside to allow significant time for a panel of young people with care experience to add their voices and perspectives, all of whom spoke with passion and real insight.

Dame Rachel has large shoes to fill, but we look forward to seeing how she will build on the legacy of this important role and continue to champion children, particularly the most vulnerable. As Home for Good, we are resolutely committed to pursuing our vision of a great home for every child who needs one. We remain dedicated to placing the needs of children at the centre of all we do and creating opportunities for their voices to be heard by those in the corridors of power.

Responding to the announcement of her appointment yesterday, Tania Bright, CEO of Home for Good said:

“With the Government’s promised Care Review in England imminent, we are entering a moment of real opportunity to secure lasting change in the care system for vulnerable children. On behalf of Home for Good I’d like to congratulate Rachel on her appointment and look forward to working alongside her within this review and beyond to enable children and young people to thrive.”

Author:
Home for Good


Date published:
21 December 2020


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