There is still time for the Government to reconsider the professional and financial ramifications, and even more importantly, the ramifications for the children and young people we care for, who need, and have always needed the secure emotional base provided by safe, stable, careful, committed and reflective professional care.
What's needed is to grow the size of the sector, by design increasing the number of homes for some needs, so that members of each sub-group meeting specifically identified needs can contribute asking the same questions, wrestling with the same issues, and worrying about the same things as you are, so that they feel a little less isolated and a little more recognised.
Sir Martin Narey's review is an opportunity to stop "doing what we've always done". It's an opportunity to be the best parents we can be for the children who we take into our care system. Being the best we can be means setting aside differences we may have with our co-parents, and allocating appropriate funding to the task of looking after the child as a priority.
I have 20 years of experience as a social worker, from the front line to leadership, and I know that awareness of child abuse and being able to identify it can play a vital role in keeping children safe. Recent, tragic media reports have no doubt affected us all and serve as a reminder that we can all do more.
One of my fondest childhood memories is of clambering over rocks along the undercliff with my grandfather one gloriously sunny day during school holidays. My family emigrated when I was still a child, so I spent too little time with him and did not know him well. He had passed away by the time I returned to the UK as a young man.
It is our fear that the gaps in the net are getting larger and more families in crisis are falling through, unrecognised and receiving no help. This will have a detrimental effect on their wellbeing, leaving many problems to snowball rather than being resolved. Storing up problems cost us more as a society in the long term.
I think it is time to prioritise child abuse as a public health issue like heart disease, smoking and obesity. These diseases get a high profile in part because they have a cost, not only in human misery but also for the economy. The NSPCC is currently researching the economic costs to the UK of child sexual abuse and it is likely that it will be billions of pounds of year.