The cost of delaying reform to children's social care

Monday 22 May 2023

One year on from the Care Review, new analysis reveals that the cost of children’s social care is rising due to government delays in implementing reforms across England.

In May 2022, the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care called for urgent reform and investment of £2.6 billion to address a spiralling crisis in children’s social care.

But one year on, the Government has not committed to wholesale reform and investment in children's social care.

New analysis commissioned by five leading children's charities - Action for Children, Barnardo's, The Children's Society, National Children's Bureau, and NSPCC - shows that every day we delay, the costs of delivering social care are rising, and children's outcomes are getting worse.

Read our Briefing (PDF)


  1. Invest at the next opportunity

    The current Government should provide funding for wholesale reform to children’s social care at the next fiscal opportunity to provide certainty to the sector.
  2. Cross party commitment to wholesale reform

    Ahead of the next election, all major political parties in England should commit to implementing wholesale reform to children social care, backed by significant investment in early intervention as recommended by the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, and the subsequent implement strategy of the present Government.
  3. A Cabinet-level Minister for Children

    The major political parties should commit to appointing a Cabinet Level Minister for Children to oversee the full implementation of reforms to children’s social care, coordinate policy affecting children across government, and advocate for children’s rights and interests in national policy.