Government to press ahead with new children’s director despite opposition

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Margaret Hodge

Children’s minister Margaret Hodge revealed this week that the
government will press ahead with parts of the children’s
green paper, including the children’s director in each council,
despite opposition from social care sector leaders,
writes Clare Jerrom.

The Department for Education and Skills has already confirmed
that there were “no plans” for the vision of
children’s services outlined in ‘Every Child Matters’ to be
developed into firm proposals in a white paper.

The green paper stage is the only opportunity that the sector
has to influence the government before a bill is introduced in
parliament.

But this week, Hodge told a conference in London, organised by
the General Social Care Council, that there were some bits of the
green paper that the government was “pretty determined
on”.

She made it clear the government would not change its mind on
some aspects of the green paper. “We will legislate for a
director of children’s services and a lead council member for
children,” Hodge told delegates, adding that it would be
unfair to suggest otherwise.

The Association of Directors of Social Services and the Local
Government Association have written to Hodge expressing their
concerns over the creation of a children’s director post in each
local authority.

She added however that the proposals to support families were a
“green area” of the green paper, and that is the part
people can influence. She said the voluntary sector would have a
strong role to play in delivering those services.

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