ICHA's Response to Josh MacAlister's Letter to Government on the Spending Review

Media Release

Response to Josh MacAlister’s ‘Letter to Government on Spending Review’


The ICHA echoes Josh’s stance on the need for more investment in family support but would go further and say that significant, ringfenced investment in early intervention and investment to alleviate poverty and inequality are the most important steps that can be taken to stem the ever-increasing numbers of children being taken into care.

There is a potential that Josh’s call for increased beds in foster and kinship homes runs the risk of setting up residential care homes under another name, but without the level of input required to help our most vulnerable children. Caring for our complex children is hard and asking foster carers to do this for more children, without increasing their personnel infrastructure, is likely to lead to more placement breakdowns.

The reality is, we have sufficient beds, but they are often in the wrong places[1], ‘for profit’ fees are generally the lowest[2], yet their standards of care are on a par with all other providers in the sector[3], and both fostering and residential can and do work well together to the betterment of children, when enabled to do so.

We therefore call on Josh to be bold in his recommendations, use the facts available and come away from the media-led hype around residential care. This is a once in a lifetime chance to truly make a difference to children’s lives, by structuring the finances around social care in such a way that will bring about organic change, to eventually lower entries into care of any sort.

Liz Cooper


Notes to Editors

The Independent Children’s Homes Association Ltd (ICHA) is the voice of providers of residential child care services and resources across England and Wales. We are a Not-for-Profit Limited Company.

ICHA’s Vision: ‘Exemplary Residential Child Care.’

ICHA’s Mission: ‘A member-led organisation driving excellence in residential child care through innovation, collaboration and sector leadership’.

ICHA represents both large and small providers.  Some members have just one home whilst others have many homes across a wide geographic area.

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