20 Jun 2014

The Children’s Society has welcomed the Government’s decision to restrict the delegation of children’s social services to not-for-profit organisations.

A government consultation had in April proposed that councils could delegate children’s social services – including child protection and safeguarding – to third parties, including private companies.

Peter Grigg, Director of Policy at The Children’s Society, said:

'Children’s social services need to get much better at protecting vulnerable children. We agree with the government about that. But prioritising profit over quality was not the answer, and we’re pleased the government has listened to our concerns about this.

'Yet concerns remain about the outsourcing of services which are there to keep children safe.  The big issues are a lack of focus on the needs children, a shortage of qualified staff, unmanageable-workloads and insufficient oversight and accountability. It is not clear how outsourcing alone can provide solutions needed.

'It is important that we to make sure outsourcing doesn’t make an already complicated system even less transparent and accountable.

'It’s clear that at present councillors, commissioners and regulators need to get better at holding social services to account. And that is only going to be more of a challenge if third parties are running services, even if they are not run for profit.'

Media enquiries

For more information, please call The Children’s Society’s media team on 020 7841 4422 or email.  For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.