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CARE BODIES SLAM CHILD WELFARE RESTRUCTURE IN JOINT STATEMENT

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A number of organisations involved in child welfare have signed a joint statement condemning the wholesale 'potenti...
A number of organisations involved in child welfare have signed a joint statement condemning the wholesale 'potentially destabilising,' reorganisation of the child protection system.

In response to the close of the Victoria Climbie inquiry and potential threats from Whitehall to nationalise children's services (LGC, 28 March), a number of organisations have signed the statement.

The Association of Directors of Social Services, the Local Government Association, the Metropolitan police, the NHS Confederation, the Society of Education Officers and various children's charities have all stressed the dangers of a major restructure.

Instead, they called for all agencies to give child welfare more attention, for the role of area child protection committees to be strengthened and placed on a statutory footing, and for a national curriculum for the training of all professionals involved in child protection and child welfare.

John Ransford, director of education and social policy at the LGA, said: 'We must ensure our entire service response really meets children's needs and protects them where necessary.'

He added: 'This is best achieved by having clear standards and giving front-line staff the support they require. Widespread organisational change would simply make this more difficult.'

Other recommendations included shared outcomes with linked multi-agency performance indicators, joint inspections

of collaborative working arrangements, and shared work places - or the creation of virtual teams - to enable different groups of staff to work alongside each other where necessary.

The joint statement will be sent to Lord Laming, chair of the Victoria Climbie inquiry.

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