Plans for radical changes in young people’s services

A unique identification number for every child and young person
in England, plus new powers for agencies to share information about
children and their families have been proposed in the long-awaited
green paper on children’s services.

The consultation document, called Every Child Matters,
outlines plans for wide-ranging change in the organisation and
delivery of services to children and young people in England. Under
the proposals, councils would appoint a new director of
children’s services to be responsible for early years,
school, and children’s social services and there would be a
lead elected member for children.

Councils would also keep a list of every child and young person
in the area, the services they have had contact with and the
contact details of professionals who have worked with them. They
would appoint a lead officer to make sure information about
individual children is collected and shared across services for
children – including health, social services, Connexions, youth
offending teams, children with special education needs. New
legislation is planned to remove the current barriers to agencies
and professionals sharing information about children and young

Children known to more than one specialist agency should have a
single named professional to take the lead on their case and be
responsible for organising a package of services to meet the
individual child’s needs. The identification number may be
adapted from a child’s NHS number.

It is proposed that in the long term key services for children
and young people, such as education, social services, some
children’s health services, early years, Connexions and
possibly youth offending teams, will be integrated under the
director of children’s services within children’s

The government has asked for views on when – apart from in cases
where there are child protection or youth offending concerns –
information about a child should be shared without the consent of
the child or their parents. It is also considering whether
information about parents such as mental health problems or
imprisonment should be shared between agencies without consent.

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