The government’s response to the Looked after children’s health report. Underwhelming at best

You may not have read the government’s response to the House of Commons’ Education committee, which undertook an extensive enquiry into the health and well-being of looked-after children. I don’t blame you, so let me save you the bother.

Education committee says:

LAC children have terrible mental health outcomes (interestingly almost the whole report is about mental, not physical health)

They often have poor access to CAMHS and other mental health support services, especially if their placement is not stable.

They are often hard to reach, and their difficulties do not fit into neat categories, so need a flexible approach to referral and therapy.

I would add: The current system of medical monitoring is excessively focused on exhaustive information gathering, and fastidious paperwork, over mental health and focusing on the child’s current needs.

In summary, the government’s response is “no, everything is just fine, and anything that isn’t fine is the local authorities fault”. Again and again they reject the recommendations, some kicked to the long grass while their expert reference group spends 18 months coming to the same conclusions as the committee, some dismissed because Future in Mind solved mental health.

Deeply disappointing but sadly, not a surprise.

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