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SSDS SEEK HELP OVER PARTNERSHIPS

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The forthcoming green paper on child protection must set out a clear strategy for councils and other local agency p...
The forthcoming green paper on child protection must set out a clear strategy for councils and other local agency partnerships, according to the Association of Directors of Social Services.

Liz Railton, ADSS's resources committee chair, said councils were interested in developing children trusts and other joint initiatives, but needed more guidance.

The government promised to publish a green paper in the wake of the Victoria Climbie inquiry calling for better communication between child care agencies.

A total of 29 councils have been short-listed to develop children trusts, which will bring the provision of education, health and social care under one umbrella.

But Ms Railton said local government was still looking to be given a 'clearer line' on joint working within children services by the green paper, which is due this summer.

'I think many authorities are interested in the concept of children's trusts and ways in which children's services can be brought together. It is not necessary for local government to deliver everything, but councils are in a strong position to lead these initiatives.'

She called on the government to give councils greater freedom 'to put together partnerships to deliver services on the ground'. She said she envisaged councils working together with the NHS under a 'nationally agreed framework'.

Many councils have already indicated they are willing to work in partnership with primary care trusts after the decision to abolish community health councils.

Barking & Dagenham LBC has recently set up a joint health and social care board with the local PCT to oversee partnership working.

Bryan Osborn (Lab),Barking & Dagenham's executive member for health, housing and social care, said PCTs were 'far better placed and organised than previous healthcare organisations to work in partnership at a local level'.

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