If I had not been sent to a state boarding school and experienced stable relationships, I would likely have ended up in care myself.
After this disruptive start in life, many young people drift into an adulthood of crime and prison.
Our task is to improve a system that is already very effective, albeit far from perfect.
Fewer children are going into care. Crime is reduced. The taxpayer is saving money. The Government was right to defy the critics of this initiative.
Government should be passionate about self-reliance, but we must also recognise the transformative power of an enabling state.
Our new Covenant establishes a set of principles to guide private, public, and third-sector organisations who want to help.
Thousands more are spending Christmas denied the chance that adoption would offer them of a permanent, loving home.
Each Secretary of State in every department should examine the impact of their department’s policies on families’ lives.
It is true that financial pressures will increase. But the scope for reform and innovation remains huge. Services do not need to be cut.
Yet the efforts of other local authorities to provide such opportunities have been derisory. Ministers give speeches but the Government has failed to act.
Previously the parks were neglected and the roads full of potholes. The Conservatives have started to turn the borough around.
£750,000 is allocated for “mother tongue teaching”. Yet there is almost no budget for English as a spoken language for non-English-speaking parents.
Well, at least more people than previously now know he is Minister for Children and Families. What should be in his in-tray?
There is plenty of innovation taking place. There should not be an ideological veto preventing it from flourishing.
High educational standards are essential, but the most disadvantaged children also need help with workplace skills and social capital.