More than 80 of the 108 recommendations in Lord Laming’s report
will be implemented within six months, Prime Minister Tony Blair
has confirmed in the House of Commons.
All except one of the 42 recommendations with a three- to six-month
deadline are included in a framework already sent out to councils
by the Social Services Inspectorate to enable them to audit their
children’s services (news, page 6, 6 February).
It leaves out recommendation 62, which says that directors of
social services must ensure that hospital-based social workers who
come into contact with children from other local authority areas
must work to a single set of guidance. However, this will be
included in national guidance for all professional staff dealing
with children due to be published within the next three
None of the recommendations with a proposed two-year timescale for
implementation are included in the toolkit. It is not yet known
whether the government will accept proposals that would result in
major reform of social services.
But the toolkit does cover many of the recommendations of the
inquiry report on good professional practice and management and
Thirty of these are already subject to statutory guidance and
reiterate basic good practice. They include recommendations that
all front-line staff should be trained to pass all calls about the
safety of children through to the appropriate duty team without
delay, and that directors of social services must ensure that every
child’s case file includes a properly maintained chronology.
Among the 12 on which there is currently no statutory guidance is
the recommendation that an assessment be carried out and recorded
on a child’s case file whenever a child is placed by social
services in temporary accommodation.
Local authorities must submit their audit information by the end of
April. This will be used to assess whether councils need extra help
to improve services. Some councils will be subject to inspection
The police are also sending out to staff self-audit information
relating to the recommendations which affect them.