THOUSANDS of children are being left at risk of harm by the government’s failure to develop a credible plan to improve protection services, MPs warn in a report published today.
The public accounts committee (PAC) said progress had been “too slow” in the five-and-a-half years since the Munro Report, which called for a major overhaul of the system.
Professor Eileen Munro was commissioned by then education secretary Michael Gove to conduct a review of child protection services.
Her 2011 report called for social workers to be freed from excessive bureaucracy and centrally imposed targets and regulations so that they have more time for face-to-face work with families and at-risk youngsters.
However, in a damning new assessment, the cross-party committee accused ministers of “complacency” on the issue and called on the Department for Education to publish detailed plans to transform child protection services.
“Urgent” action is needed to end wide discrepancies in the quality and consistency of help available to vulnerable children in different parts of the country, the committee said.
The MPs lambasted the government over its continued failure to produce a “credible plan to improve services and grow a quality social workforce.”
Committee chair Meg Hillier said improvements were “woefully overdue” and it was “completely unacceptable” that so little progress had been made since the publication of the Munro Report.
The committee called on the DfE to “set out plans for how it will work with local authorities to transform services.”
The government has claimed it is working to implement the Munro Report’s recommendations.