The state spends a spiralling amount on vulnerable children fails to protect them. We need to focus on supporting parents
Judges are only meant to speak in court, and they may not pronounce on government policy. So it’s a rare day when a judge turns whistleblower. It’s practically unknown for two senior judges to state publicly, in terms, that there’s a crisis in our care system which is damaging children and families across the land. But Andrew McFarlane, the incoming president of the high court’s family division, this week agreed with his predecessor James Munby, who warned in 2016 that the “seemingly relentless” rise in the number of care applications has resulted in a burgeoning children’s services disaster. This is, according to McFarlane, “untenable” for the courts and care system.
The new president of the family court was speaking at the launch of the Care Crisis review, which was prompted by Munby’s alarm call. The seven-month process, facilitated by the charity Family Rights Group, listened to over 2,000 people including social workers, local authorities, Ofsted, women who have lost their children, adopters, and children who have been in care.