In response to the statement by Sir James Munby, Natasha Finlayson, Chief Executive of The Who Cares? Trust, said:
“We are concerned by the continuing increase in the number of care applications due to abuse and neglect. As Judge Munby recognises, this increase could be for a multitude of complex reasons, which warrant further investigation.
“We agree that more must be done to help families create an environment where children can remain safely in their home. We support the expanding network of Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, and we are encouraged to see the rapid development of Pause, which focusses on the challenges that too many mothers who lose successive children to the care system face. This kind of innovation and early intervention can only help to ensure that families are in a better position to meet the needs of their children.
“However, we recognise that the care system is currently under immense strain. If children continue to come into the care system at the same rate then the Government must ensure that local authorities receive appropriate funding and support so that each child can have a better life in care than they would at home.
“If the system buckles and breaks due to a lack of investment and support from Government, children who have only corporate parents to turn to for support will suffer.
“All children deserve a happy and fulfilled childhood, and if they cannot have that at home then they deserve a happy and fulfilled childhood in the care of their corporate parents. As a charity we are optimistic for the future of the children in the care system – but we recognise that more needs to be done to ensure that children don’t enter the care system in the first place.”