Join our campaign to reinstate the regrettably closed quango, the NCERCC at epetitions.direct.gov.uk.
I am chair of The Institute of Childcare and Social Education (ICSE), the sector body behind this campaign, which has set up an e-petition to demonstrate to the Government the strength of feeling in the sector on this issue.
The government-funded National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC), based at the National Children’s Bureau from 2004, established itself as an invaluable resource for the residential sector, providing a focus for consultation, developing training and advice, running seminars and conferences, and producing publications and developing policy; but its funds were diverted by the last Government in 2009.
There is an enormous demand for another NCERCC or a like body to be set up - something we hear from residential care professionals, local authorities, schools, professional associations. Residential staff do a highly demanding job and they need support from people who really know about the work.
Setting up such a sector body need not require a huge budget and it could be partly self-funding. Despite the current austerity measures and curb on quangos, the support offered by such a body is a proven and cost-effective way of minimising the well-publicised scandals of the past arising from abuse in children's homes.
Bringing this kind of resource back is the best way to ensure the welfare of the children and young people, who require the most intensive care in our social services system, will always be of the highest quality.