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GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES NEW OBJECTIVES TO SUPPORT CHILDREN IN CARE

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A comprehensive framework to ensure the safety and wellbeing of ...
A comprehensive framework to ensure the safety and wellbeing of

children in need was published today by John Hutton, health minister.

'The Government's Objectives for Children's Social Services', sets

out for the first time, clear targets for local authorities and

social services departments to achieve for children in care.

Key objectives will look at:

- adoption; minimising the time children remain looked after before

they are placed for adoption, far fewer moves for children in

care

- abuse; reducing the number of child deaths where abuse or neglect

is a factor

- education; improving qualifications, reducing truancy and

exclusions; making sure children in care attend school and achieve

more as a result

- improving life chances for black and ethnic minority children

- local councils helping children in care beyond the age of 16

Launching the publication, John Hutton said:

'Statistics published today in Children Looked Afer by Local

Authorities, 1998/99, show that the number of children in care has

risen by 4% over the last year. We need to continue the drive to

improve services for these children. All children deserve the best

chances in life, but we have a particular duty to this highly

vulnerable group.

'We have said before that children's social services need reform, and

we are determined to bring about radical improvements. With 'Quality

Protects', the£375m programme to transform the management and

delivery of children's social services, we are making a start on

making things better. We have worked very closely with local

authorities and consulted widely with other agencies to develop these

objectives, which will ensure that children in need receive safe,

effective and high quality social services support.'

NOTES

1. Copies 'New Objectives for Children's Social

Services' may be obtained from:

Department of Health

PO Box 777

London SE1 6XH

Fax: 01623 724524

Email: doh@prologistics.co.uk

The document is also on the department of health website at:

www.open.gov.uk/doh/quality.htm

2. Copies of the bulletin, 'Children Looked After by Local

Authorities in England', are available, free of charge, from

Department of Health, Room 451C, Skipton House, 80 London Road,

London SE1 6XH. A copy of this bulletin, together with a

number of additional tables will be made available on the

department's website at www.doh.gov.uk/public/stats3.htm

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