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Olly Swann

Shining A Light volume 3: Are we valuing care?

I am delighted to introduce ‘Shining a Light’, our third collection of children’s services essays. This edition is themed around a single, topical question for the sector: are we valuing care?

The essayists in this collection are:

  • Harvey Gallagher, Chief Executive, Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers
  • Colin Green, independent consultant
  • Ebony Hughes, Assistant Director, IMPOWER
  • Marion Ingram, Operations Director for Specialist Services at Hertfordshire County Council
  • Steve Kay, Director of Children and Families, North East Lincolnshire Council
  • Mark Owers, independent children’s services adviser

Steve Kay’s essay has been published in the MJ, and the full collection is available for download.

This collection brings to life some of the issues we are addressing through our innovative Valuing Care programme. Despite some great social work practice, and the best efforts of those working across the sector, the system for placements commissioning is failing the children in our care. Huge investment decisions into a young person’s future are being made without adequate consideration of what a young person needs, or how the delivery of important outcomes will be managed. At a time when resources are so precious, we must tighten our control on the money spent on children in care to ensure it is making a positive difference.

The essays in this collection explore this context, both directly and indirectly. A variety of perspectives and areas of focus are presented – but with a unifying theme; despite the challenges, it is possible to bring about positive change and improve outcomes. Please do take the time to read through these essays, to share them with colleagues and to let us know your own thoughts and experiences.


Download the essay collection


Other relevant insight

Commissioning in complexity

The complexity that public sector commissioners are working in makes for a challenging environment – and one that invites innovation.

October 1, 2019

Time to reassess children’s mental health

Time and again over the past five years, children’s social workers have told me that the insufficiency of children and young people’s mental health support is a crippling factor preventing them getting the best outcomes.

July 1, 2019

Fostering Fortnight: 3 reflections on supporting foster carers

How can we ensure that foster carers are as well-supported as possible when they make the huge decision to foster a child?

May 23, 2019


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