Professor Eileen Munro criticises the Care Review for its ‘hobbling restrictions’

Professor Eileen Munro has criticised the Government’s review of children’s social care for ignoring the role of poverty and for ruling out more funding for its recommendations.

26/04/21

Professor Eileen Munro criticises the Care Review for its ‘hobbling restrictions’

The head of 2011 landmark review of children’s social care in England, Professor Eileen Munro, has criticised the current Government’s review, saying it ignores the key role of poverty and the underfunding of services.

Eileen Munro, who led ‘The Munro Review of Child Protection’ and is now emeritus professor of social policy at the London School of Economics, said by failing to consider the impact of poverty on child development, the Government was “limiting the responsibility to parents instead of to how we function as a society.”

“If you are truly trying to help children have a better childhood you have to link it to a levelling up on child poverty,” Professor Munro said, speaking to the Guardian.

Professor Munro also criticised the “hobbling restrictions” which appear to mean the current review cannot secure any extra funding for its recommendations.

“What worries me most is the [children’s services] system is totally underfunded, families are under huge strain, and wanting to make things better without guaranteeing any money – actually, explicitly saying you can’t assume there will be any more money – just seems to tie our hands around our backs.”

The current review was announced in January, with former Frontline Chief Executive Josh MacAlister named as the Chair.

Critics have questioned the review’s independence, its broad scope, and its short timescale to make its recommendations.

Ray Jones, Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Kingston University and author of ‘In Whose Interest? The Privatisation of Child Protection and Social Work’, wrote for Social Work Today, upon the announcement that Josh MacAlister would lead the review, that it had “every danger” of being another step towards further privatisation.

Read Ray Jones’s response to the review: https://www.socialworktoday.co.uk/News/How-the-latest-children's-social-care-review-could-pave-the-way-for-further-privatisation

Professor Munro said she shared her concerns with MacAlister prior to speaking to the Guardian, with MacAlister responding that nothing would be excluded from his inquiry and that more would be revealed when the review publishes its ‘Case for Change’, expected in June.

Read Eileen Munro’s comments in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/apr/26/review-childrens-social-care-england-ignores-role-poverty-says-expert

Picture credit: U.S. Embassy London

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