The Victoria Climbie inquiry is to consider whether the setting
up of a new child protection agency would help address
inconsistencies in the organisation and delivery of children’s
services, by Janet Snell and Lauren
Phase two of the inquiry, due to start in March, will comprise a
series of five public seminars with evidence from experts in the
field, focusing on a range of issues from case assessment and
monitoring performance to service provision and sharing information
The session on service provision and delivery will consider
whether the establishment of a lead child protection agency would
secure improvements in services or simply obstruct effective
partnership working and blur professional lines of
Another idea up for discussion is the creation of a virtual
child protection agency using information technology.
A later seminar will consider whether area child protection
committees should continue, and whether they should be put on a
statutory basis and take on new responsibilities.
There will also be a discussion on the feasibility of a national
system for producing Part 8 reviews that could be made available
publicly so that lessons could be learned.
According to an inquiry spokesperson, Lord Laming and his team,
who will sit in on the seminars, “have become aware of wide
variations in practice in the assessment of vulnerable children and
their carers so another seminar will look at the effectiveness of
the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their
The team also want to consider ways of encouraging the wider
community to help identify children who may be at risk,
particularly those who have just arrived in the country, recently
moved house or who are not living with their birth parents.
The seminars will be chaired by Neil Garnham QC, counsel to the
inquiry, and will be held in Hannibal House, south London. Between
12 and 20 people will be selected from those who make submissions
to phase two and will be invited to give evidence at each
Members of the public will be able to attend and suggest
questions in writing in advance to be put to participants.
* Address for submissions: Room 302, Hannibal House, Elephant
and Castle, London SE1 6TQ.
Seminar topic, date,
and deadline for submission:
Discovery and inclusion, 8 March and 20 February
Identification, 15 March and 27 February
Determining requirements, 22 March and 6 March
Service provision and delivery, 12 April, and 27 March
Monitoring performance, 19 April, and 3 April