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Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England’s statement on the National Audit Office’s report on Children in Need of Care or Protection:

“Protecting children from harm is one of Government’s most important responsibilities. The report released by the National Audit Office today shows that progress in the transformation towards the child centred, confident and responsive child protection system that Eileen Munro envisaged five years ago is disappointingly slow. The report points to wide variations in practice between local areas and despite some green shoots, shows that many areas are not yet performing well.

Many of the children with a history of neglect or abuse I speak to have grown up with little stability, fearful of parents who should protect them and with few positive role models in their lives. They need a local authority that will step in to protect them with confident and skilled social workers and carers who will keep them safe and be ambitious for their future.

To improve outcomes for children in need, it is vital that the Government understands the effectiveness of programmes that are designed to lift them from need. Over the coming months and years I will collect, collate and publish data on the outcomes of and support provided to this vulnerable group to shine a spotlight on whether this is being achieved.

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