Children’s trusts to be piloted in 14 areas

The department of health is planning on piloting
children’s trusts in 14 local authorities, Community
has learned, writes Derren Hayes.

Details of the standards and functions the doh expects the
trusts to meet are to be included in a prospectus to be distributed
to local authorities and voluntary sector organisations by the end
of the year. Bids by councils to set up children’s trusts are
expected to follow soon afterwards with the first wave of sites due
to begin operating by late 2003.

As a sweetener to local authorities to get involved in
children’s trusts, the government is expected to provide some
funding for setting up the successful projects.

Community Care also understands that the pilot sites
will not undergo a formal three-year evaluation process before
children’s trusts are rolled out to other authorities
interested in developing them.

A doh spokesperson denied that any decisions had been made on
the number of pilot sites and the amount of funding.

However, speaking at the Howard League for Penal Reform AGM last
week, Denise Platt, chief inspector of England’s social
services, said that since children’s trusts had
been launched, the doh had been “inundated with requests for people
to be pilots”.

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