In is keynote speech to the conference, MacAlister discussed his current views as his independent review of children’s social care starts to come to a conclusion.
“Safeguarding children is everyone’s business and protection only works if it comes with help that can address the concerns people are worried about.” He said.
“If we can bring more help into families’ lives, we are more likely to build better relationships that increase the understanding of the situations in which children are living, improve the underlying reasons families become involved in social care and more accurately identify the situations where there are more serious concerns.
If we can make help less stigmatising and more meaningful, and give professionals more time with families, we will also increase the likelihood that families will engage with social care.
If we can simplify arbitrary and bureaucratic categories and thresholds , we can be more responsive to changing risk without the inherent weakness in hand-off points.”
He hen argued the need for a “system that’s able to distinguish between families who are waving for a lifeline of help and families who are dangerous and where all efforts need to be focussed on removing children quickly.”
Read the full speech here.