We must protect the people that protect our children. Cuts to children’s service are unacceptable and we must make this a spending priority in the local council. By involving the local community we can prevent harm. We are failing our young people in terms of housing, education, and mental health at present and The Green Party want to ensure that young people are given the best possible start in life. We need to stop stereotyping our young people, and acknowledge their voice and their needs.
Southampton City Council and their social services have been criticised by Ofsted in the past two years following a series of Serious Case Reviews. Although the recent Ofsted report cited improvements there is still a long way to go to bring the services up to ‘Outstanding’, which is what the city of Southampton, its inhabitants and its young people deserve.
Much of these failures can be put down to successive council administrations and the way they have managed and paid the social worker teams. During 2011, industrial action was taken by social services staff in opposition to the Conservative plans to implement a 5.5% cut in wages. We must protect the people that protect our children.
There is a lack of suitable accommodation for vulnerable young people in Southampton. And where there is accommodation provided there is no security of tenure. The third sector do a fantastic job of supporting homeless young people but more needs to be done at a statutory level to prevent young people becoming homeless. Too many young people do not have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.