17 Dec, 2015

Outsourcing is the future for children’s services

The Guardian | Patrick Butler | 15 December 2015 

We are failing the most vulnerable children in society, the prime minister, David Cameron, admitted on Monday. He promised that this would change; he would not stand by, he promised, with the casual bluster beloved of politicians on this topic, while children are let down by “inadequate social services”.

It begs the question as to what exactly he has been doing for vulnerable children over the past five years. He inevitably ignored why increasing numbers of children were in such desperate circumstances that they were ending up in local authority care. His huge cuts to social security, and police and council budgets strangely didn’t get a mention.

So far, so Cameron. It is hard not to see this as the latest instalment of a neat cut-denigrate-privatise strategy. The cuts have been achieved. Cameron has led a barrage of criticism of social services. Yet, a full-blown market in child protection – that dream shrivelled in a blaze of public anger and expert criticism in 2014 – is on the backburner, at least for now.