Westminster Education Forum

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The next steps for the children’s care system in England and improving provision for care leavers

Morning, Thursday, 29th September 2022

This conference will be an opportunity to discuss priorities for the children’s care system in England.

Taking place following the expected publication of the final findings of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, the conference will be a timely opportunity to consider the lessons that can be learnt from the review, as well as to assess its recommendations.

There will be further discussion on issues faced by children and families throughout their time in the care system, their relationships with social workers, and on future provision for care leavers.

Delegates will also consider the future of the social care market following the CMA’s market study, which outlines key recommendations for the sector moving forward.

Further areas for discussion include:

  • priorities for children’s care system - capacity ◦ maintaining standards at both national & regional levels ◦ funding into the future
  • children and families - children’s needs, support & outcomes ◦ early intervention ◦ keeping families together ◦ mental health ◦ educational attainment ◦ pathways into further study & employment
  • the workforce - recruitment & retention ◦ training & CPD ◦ support & pay ◦ caseload burden ◦ parity of esteem ◦ developing the profession
  • best practice - implementation ◦ learning from other jurisdictions

We are pleased to include keynote sessions with Mark Riddell, National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers on key policy priorities for the children’s care system moving forward; and Dan Turnbull, Director, Markets, CMA.

Keynote Speakers

Dan Turnbull

Director, Markets, CMA

Mark Riddell

National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers, Department for Education


Lord Mike Watson

Shadow Spokesperson for Education, House of Lords


Councillor Clare Curran

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Surrey County Council

Harvey Gallagher

Chief Executive, Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers

Hannah McCowen

Manager, National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum, Catch22

Rebekah Pierre

Professional Officer, BASW

Councillor Cordelia Law

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Torbay Council

Rachel Harrison

Public Services National Officer, GMB Union

Cathy Ashley

Chief Executive, Family Rights Group

Dr Lucille Allain

Professor of Social Work & Head of Department, Mental Health & Social Work, Middlesex University London

Tim O’Neill

Managing Director of Children’s Services, Action for Children

Jane Collins

Director, Foster Support

Peter Sandiford

CEO, The Independent Children's Homes Association