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NATIONAL SOCIAL SERVICES CONFERENCE - LGIU REPORT TELLS AUTHORITIES TO BE INVOLVED IN CHILD PROTECTION

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Suzanne Simmons-Lewis reports from Cardiff...
Suzanne Simmons-Lewis reports from Cardiff

Councils' role in child protection should be strengthened, rather than reduced to deliver safe and successful services to children, a report from the Local Government Information Unit says.

The report, launched at the National Social Services conference in Cardiff, is against any major restructuring of children's services.

It said: 'Radical changes to the structure of children's services could blur accountability, and the upheaval caused could divert agencies from their core responsibilities of looking after children.'

The report challenged recent proposals for change which recommended children's services be taken outside direct local authority control.

Author of the report, LGIU policy officer Jessica Crowe, said: 'The recent high-profile tragedies involving the deaths of children can lead to the perception that child protection across the UK is in crisis - but research shows this is not the case. In a drive for improvement we are in danger of losing the strengths of the current services.'

Report recommendations include giving councils, particularly elected councillors, ultimate responsibility for co-ordinating children's services.

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