Care review lead urges ministers to prioritise early help, placements and mental health for extra cash

The head of the children’s social care review has urged ministers to prioritise early help, and additional placements and mental health services for looked-after children for “urgent investment” over the coming years.

Josh MacAlister’s call came in a letter to education secretary Gavin Williamson and chief secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay designed to influence the government’s spending review, scheduled for the autumn and due to set funding plans for 2022-25.

MacAlister, who was appointed by the Department for Education to lead the review in January, has only set out a high-level “case for change” from his review so far, with firm recommendations due next year in his final report.

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