The Department for Education today announced Alan Wood as Chair of the new Residential Care Leadership Board.
The Residential Care Leadership Board (RCLB) was set up following Sir Martin Narey’s 2015 review of children’s residential care in England. It will drive forward improvements to the children’s residential care system and support vulnerable children across the country.
The Board will take forward the recommendations in Sir Martin Narey’s report. They include making improvements to the commissioning of places, engaging with the wider sector to support the development of new approaches, and ensuring learning and best practice is shared and implemented.
The Board will also support the roll out of Staying Close pilots, which will allow young people leaving care to keep in touch with their support network. This is a key part of the Department’s work to make sure every child, regardless of their circumstances, receives the best possible support.
Robert Goodwill, Minister for Children and Families, said:
Children living in care have often experienced traumatic situations. These children can be some of the most vulnerable in the country and we are committed to doing all that we can to give them the best possible care and support.
I am pleased that Alan has been appointed to this role, and I look forward to working closely with him to make our residential care system the best it can be.
Alan Wood, Chair of the Residential Care Leadership Board, said:
We have some excellent residential care for our children but nationally our system needs to be able to provide flexibly for a wider range of need. All local authorities and providers have a vital role to play in ensuring provision matches needs and resources are used most effectively.
The RCLB will work to build a strong partnership across the sector focusing on developing its range, promoting improvement where it is needed and celebrating its successes.
Alan Wood is a former President of the Association for Directors of Children’s Services, and has also worked as a children’s services commissioner in Doncaster and Tower Hamlets. In 2016 he conducted a review of multi-agency arrangements for child protection.
He was selected for the role following an open and transparent recruitment process, overseen by the office of The Commissioner for Public Appointments.