It's a very challenging problem we face: how do we significantly reduce our spending on crisis care and acute treatment and start investing in tackling the problems that emerge early in children's lives. It will take brave decisions by leaders and commissioners to move in this direction. But we have to start doing it so that children and young people start experiencing the quality outcomes that we as a society should be able to provide for them.
The safety and welfare of children must be paramount: there can be no compromise on that principle. But in many cases, a child's welfare is best served by staying with its mother if she can be supported to parent well. Today Nicky Morgan announces a new approach to children's services. But if we really want to improve children's welfare, we need to make sure there is support available for mothers too.
George Osborne is already coming under fire for using the 'tampon tax' to fund women's charities, particularly those responding to abuse. Many are (rightly) asking whether women should have to pay tax on essential items to fund the services that help them escape abuse predominantly perpetrated by men. But despite these concerns, more money for chronically underfunded women's services is welcome. Now we must look at how we spend it.
Whilst Boris may have appeased some of the electorate by attacking members of the Muslim community, he's definitely lost me as a voter and possibly thousands of others. Social services have enough on their plate without making them work out which brown person is a religious Muslim parent and which is a radicalised Muslim parent.
Just as it is cruel to deprive the elderly of food or medication, it is cruel to accept the current state of social isolation. We could ask why these lonely people's families are not more involved or go down the Chinese government route of 'forcing' people to visit their elderly parents but the reality is that people are naturally occupied with making a living and raising their own young.
We have all heard the stories of the system being abused and taken for granted - a trip to the hospital for a headache or cold and an ambulance called for a minor ailment. However, I do often ask myself, has this amazing free service made us lazy regarding our personal healthcare? Are we too quick to rush to our GP instead of helping ourselves look after our own health and wellbeing?
The UK government is pushing ahead full steam with Clause 1 of the Children and Families Bill. If implemented it could result in some children being placed with potential adopters despite there having been no court proceedings, no court decision that the child should be permanently removed from their parents and no legal advice given to the parents.