Thursday, 17 April 2014


I’m not really surprised to hear, as reported in Children and Young People Now, that the Government is considering outsourcing children’s services in England, including child protection.

It fits with the ideological perspective of our current government and provides a convenient and easy way for them to appear to be doing something, without having to do too much hard thinking.

This is no place for a political diatribe about whether privatisation is a good or bad idea. In Britain it seems to have become a knee-jerk response of governments of all political persuasions. My main concern is that reorganising who delivers the services is a complete distraction from the main issue of how to make struggling services better.

Passing child protection to the private and voluntary sectors is no guarantee of improved quality. Nor is it a necessarily a precursor of poorer standards.  But it will take years for new arrangements to bed down, with very uncertain outcomes.
In the meantime everybody’s focus will be on how to outsource - not on how to deliver and improve services.