responsibility for children, stressed children, young people and families
minister, Margaret Hodge; health minister, Stephen Ladyman; and Home
Office minister, Hazel Blears, today following publication
The key findings from self-audits of child protection activity by NHS
organisations, social services departments and police forces showed
that recommendations from the Victoria Climbie Inquiry have had an
impact on police social services and the NHS, with the majority of
organisations making steady progress towards them.
The findings published today by the Social Services Inspectorate
(SSI), Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) and Her Majesty's
Chief Inspector of Constabulary (HMCI) also showed there were some
significant areas for development.
Ms Hodge said:
'The tragic death of Victoria Climbie showed us, yet again, that we
must change the way we work to better protect children.
'Today's report shows that steady progress has been made by police,
social services and the NHS in response to Lord Laming's report.
'But improving child protection must be the priority for all agencies
with a responsibility for children. Our Children's Green paper sets
out our proposals to reform children's services so that we get better
joined up services, better sharing of information and clear
'We want to see services organised around the needs of children and
families. We want to see a stronger emphasis on preventative
services. Multi-agency teams of health and education professionals,
social workers and others will be based in and around schools and
children's centres. They will use shared information and assessment
systems to provide joined up support for all families and rapid
on-the-spot response to cases of serious concern.'
Mr Ladyman said:
' These audit findings are being used to inform future work by CHI,
who will discuss areas of concerns with strategic health authorities.
'The National Service Framework for Children is intended to set the
standards of care for children in all settings. The first standard on
Hospital Services stressed the importance of continuity of care and
record keeping and included a draft standard on child protection.
This will help ensure NHS care for children is genuinely safe.
'We recognise the importance of providing child protection advice to
support staff. In January 2002, a letter was sent to chief executives
of primary care trusts, setting out their role in dealing with child
protection cases. Also, in May 2003, we issued ''What To Do If You're
Worried A Child Is Being Abused', a clear and concise booklet for all
frontline staff who have day-to-day contact with children and are
concerned about their welfare.'
Ms Blears said:
'I am pleased to see this report published, which is an important
follow-up to the work of Lord Laming and his team. I understand that
this is the first time that police forces have conducted this kind of
exercise, and some of the results were encouraging. However, it is
important that all police forces continue to develop their child
protection services and that HMIC provide the necessary scrutiny to
ensure that standards are met.'
* The joint report is available here.
This Press Notice applies to England.
1. The Victoria Climbie Inquiry report by Lord Laming was published
in January 2003. It made 108 recommendations. The secretaries of
state sent check lists of the relevant practice recommendations to
all 625 NHS organisations and 150 councils with social services
responsibilities in England, and to all 43 police forces in England
2. The Social Services Inspectorate (SSI), Commission for Health
Improvement (CHI) and Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary
(HMCI) were asked to audit the implementation of these
recommendations. All of the organisations completed self- audits. The
results represent the first large scale audit of child protection
3. The joint report will be distributed to all relevant agencies. The
key findings highlight areas where action is necessary and are being
used to inform future work by the inspectorates, and the star ratings
for councils with social services responsibilities.
4. The report will be sent to all area child protection committees in
England, with a request that they consider what, if any, action to
take as a result of the findings.
5. Every Child Matters, the Children's Green Paper, launched last
month set out the government's plans to reform children's services so
that all children can develop their full potential and be protected
from neglect and harm. It put forward proposals to make children's
services more joined up and accountable.