In her speech to the Independent Children’s Home Association conference on residential care, Dame Rachel de Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England, commended children’s home providers and their staff for above and beyond commitment during the pandemic:
‘I know that so many of your staff have gone above and beyond what is asked of them, including being in bubbles with the whole home and often staying in homes for weeks on end.
There has been incredible professionalism, big personal sacrifices and a huge commitment to looking out for vulnerable children in your care.’
The commissioner expressed gratitude toward the profession by saying:
‘And I want to say thank you for the incredible job that children’s homes providers and their staff have done over the last year during the Covid pandemic.’
I know that so many of your staff have gone above and beyond what is asked of them, including being in bubbles with the whole home and often staying in homes for weeks on end.
There has been incredible professionalism, big personal sacrifices and a huge commitment to looking out for vulnerable children in your care.
The children’s commissioner also commented positively on the role of private providers, saying:
‘I think this pandemic has really reinforced the important role that the private sector has within children’s social care system.
Of course, there are some people who believe that private companies should not have any role in looking after children and that caring is too fundamental a job to contract out.
I don’t agree.
Many of the best children’s homes in England are run by private sector providers. All of us should celebrate that top quality provision and appreciate the dedication, skills and expertise of the staff working in them.
We should also acknowledge that often the private sector has stepped in to care for our most vulnerable children when many local authorities, and some of our biggest and most established charities, took the decision – for a range of reasons – to close their children’s homes.’
The commissioner went on to say private providers should challenge mediocre care amongst their peers and be willing to:
‘transform children’s social care, calling out the unscrupulous and those only in it to make a quick buck, while encouraging and building on the work of those providers with outstanding homes with high standards and an ethos of excellence.’
Read the full text here.