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RESIDENTIAL CARE FOR CHILDREN - A POSITIVE CHOICE?

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At the end of its two year programme of activity, the Support Force for Children's residential care published its f...
At the end of its two year programme of activity, the Support Force for Children's residential care published its final report to the health secretary today.

The report presents an account of the work of the Support Force over the past two years and sets out its view of the state and status of children's residential care.

Adrianne Jones, leader of the Support Force, said:

'Residential child care must continue to be championed if it is to remain firmly on local and national agendas.

'We are now at a watershed in terms of the high level focus and activity directed at residential child care. In some authorities this is beginning to bring about tangible benefits. But much still remains to be done to develop, implement and monitor policies and practice.

'Consideration needs to be given as to how the longer term agenda is met and the extent to which this requires collective action - nationally, regionally and locally.

'It is crucial that the delivery of residential child care is planned strategically - within children's services as a whole.'

Health minister John Bowis welcomed the publication of the report, saying:

'This report demonstrates the significant contribution made by the Support Force during its two years of activity. I am grateful to its members for their commitment and hard work.

'I fully endorse the Support Force's view of the importance of strategic planning for the delivery children's services and in the next parliamentary session we intend to lay an order to make this a statutory local authority function.

'I also agree that the impetus the Support Force has created over the last two years is not lost. My department is already considering the most appropriate and effective means of taking forward and reviewing the work which they started.'

- The Support Force for Children's Residential Care has a remit to give practical advice and assistance to local authorities and other agencies who are purchasers and providers of residential care for children.

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