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Independent review of children’s residential care announced

Sir Martin Narey to head review team

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, have announced a comprehensive review into children's residential care.

There are currently over 8,000 children and young people in children's homes with councils spending over £1 billion a year.

The independent review – headed up by Sir Martin Narey, former CEO of Barnardo's who has advised the government concerning its adoption reforms – will look at which children should be in residential care, how it can be improved and how government can achieve the very best for every single child in their care.

Announcing the review at Prime Minister's questions, the Prime Minister said:

"We need to make sure that our residential care homes are doing the best possible job they can.

"That is why I can announce that I have asked the former Chief Executive of Barnardo's, Sir Martin Narey, to conduct an independent review of children's residential care, reporting to the Education Secretary and myself, so we can take every possible step to make sure these children get the best start in life."

Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, said:

"I want to shine a spotlight on what works, identify barriers to success and end those practices that are holding these children back them from a life full of opportunity.

"It is our moral duty to create a care system where all children have access to high-quality care that meets their specific needs. I am confident that Sir Martin's review will help make this ambition a reality."

Sir Martin's comprehensive review into residential care homes will look at:

Sir Martin said:

"I am delighted to accept this commission. Some of the best social work I've seen has taken place in residential homes, carried out by some outstanding staff. And yet there are doubts about whether we use residential care for the right children and frequent disquiet about children's transitions to adulthood.

"I am anxious to hear from staff, children, care leavers and those with experience of this sector."

The Prime Minister's announcement was welcomed by the Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, and the Association of Directors of Children's Services.

The terms of reference and independent call for evidence are here.

30/10/15