Home for Good’s response to the 2021 Spending Review

On Wednesday 27 October 2021 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the Government’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review

On Wednesday 27 October 2021 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the Government’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review for the next three years (until 2024/25). Home for Good was pleased to see several announcements made relating to adoption and children in care, with a commitment to ensuring that vulnerable children and young people are given the best chance to thrive in safe and stable homes.

We welcome the £7 million allocated to the Department for Education for the implementation of the recently announced Adoption Strategy - Achieving Excellence Everywhere. The strategy prioritises post-adoption support for families, investment in Early Permanence, increasing the effectiveness of Regional Adoption Agencies, boosting the recruitment of adopters, and longitudinal research. However, it is not clear how the £7m will be spent and there was no indication of how much the DfE will be allocating to the Adoption Support Fund (ASF), which provides essential therapeutic services to adoptive families. In September 2021, Home for Good supported the APPG for Adoption and Permanence in publishing a report that called for a ten-year extension of the ASF. Alongside others in the sector, we will continue to advocate for the long-term retention of the fund.

Home for Good welcomes the £104 million that has been newly provided to improve and reform unregulated children’s social care. We believe that teenagers in care deserve high-quality provision that can cater for their specific needs. Building on our Five-Star Interim Report, our new forthcoming report on supported lodgings makes the case for future investment in supported lodgings, which is currently under-recognised and therefore underutilised. We believe this provision could hugely benefit many teenagers in care and are therefore pleased by the investment Government is making to reform unregulated provision and improve safeguarding standards.

The Spending Review also provides English councils with £1.6 billion of new funding in each of the next three years, with a view to increase investment in support for vulnerable children. Other areas of funding include £2.6 billion for school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities, many of whom will be care-experienced, and £500 million for early years and family help services. In a letter to Government ahead of the Spending Review, Josh MacAlister, Chair of the independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England, highlighted family help as one of the three key areas in need of urgent investment and prioritisation by Government. We are therefore encouraged to see that the Review is already securing much-needed change and investment ahead of its final recommendations to Government in Spring 2022.

In our advocacy work at Home for Good, we seek to influence policy-shapers, decision-makers, and influencers to enact robust change, unlock existing barriers, and enable stability, safety, and love for every child in the care system across the UK. We will continue to work to amplify the voices of vulnerable children and those who care for them, and to champion the role of the Church in being part of the solution to many of the challenges at play within the care system.

Author:
Home for Good


Date published:
1 November 2021


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