The UK Government has released its response to the 'Stable Homes, Built on Love' consultation. The response claims that the implementation strategy is “bold and ambitious”, making a “compelling case for change” for children’s social care reform in England.

Though NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) welcomes some of the proposals detailed in the UK Government's response, we do not believe that the current strategy is bold or ambitious. We reject these claims and remain concerned that this ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity lacks the ambition and urgency needed to deliver a truly transformative reform of children’s social care. 


The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care called on the UK Government to invest £2.6bn over five years into children’s social care and early intervention. The UK Government however committed to investing just £200 million over two years, reflecting one-fifth of the amount recommended.

In their most recent response, the UK Government recognised that “more investment” will be required to continue delivering phases of the implementation strategy however no long-term funding commitments have been made. After decades of underinvestment, NYAS remains concerned that current funding fails to grasp the scale of the crisis impacting children’s social care and will be unable to deliver the ‘once-in-a-generation’ reform promised.

With the number of children in care in England projected to rise by 20% to 100,000 by 2032, NYAS calls on the UK Government to make good on their promise and invest in our children.

Corporate Parenting and Protected Characteristics

The UK Government rejected the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care recommendation to make care experience a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, instead committing to “prioritising proposals to extend corporate parenting principles.” Corporate parenting is a statutory duty placed on local authorities to provide the best possible care and safeguarding for children in their care.

Making care experience a protected characteristic would have been all encompassing, providing care-experienced people with lifelong protection from discrimination while ensuring public bodies, institutions and organisations make policy decisions with care-experienced people in mind. 6 out of 10 young people in NYAS’ care review research agreed that it was a good idea to make care-experience a protected characteristic and NYAS continues to support this call.



Although NYAS supports the extension of corporate parenting - believing that this should be extended as widely as possible to all public bodies that work or have contact with care-experienced children and young people - the UK Government has made no commitment to when this extension will happen nor identified which public bodies will become new corporate parents. Their response stated that legislative changes will take place when “parliamentary time allows” but, with limited time left before the next general election, NYAS is concerned that this extension will be delayed.

We urge the UK Government to take immediate action to extend corporate parenting responsibilities as widely as possible, as soon as possible, making fulfilment of these duties a statutory duty of all public bodies.

Independent Visitors

NYAS is disappointed that the UK Government has made no commitments to extending the statutory entitlement of Independent Visitors for care leavers until the age of 25, despite its commitment to making sure that every child leaves care with a stable and loving relationship by 2027.  Too many care experienced young people enter adulthood alone and, often, Independent Visitors are the only adults in these children’s lives who are not paid to spend time with them. This reliable and consistent adult friend reduces social isolation and builds a pathway to independent adulthood.

Alongside the National Independent Visitor Network (NIVN), we have continuously called for the UK Government to extend this entitlement as part of the Right Friend Campaign. We believe that the UK Government has again missed an opportunity to deliver on their commitments to prioritising stable and loving relationships.

Alongside NIVN, NYAS will continue to call on the UK Government to enact this statutory extension and demand that all local authorities in England that currently have no Independent Visitor Scheme take immediate action to meet their legal obligations.



NYAS remains disappointed with the UK Government’s ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’ implementation strategy and we are deeply concerned that it is not ambitious, bold, or radical enough to deliver the reforms needed to improve children’s social care. We call on the UK Government to deliver on their promises and invest in our children.

To the care experienced community, NYAS will continue to advocate for your rights and challenge the UK Government to make good on their promise to deliver a transformative ‘once-in-a-generation’ reform.

You can read NYAS’s full response to the ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’ consultation here.