Children’s bill expected in February

The children’s bill and its accompanying regulations and
guidance are expected to be published in February, Community
has learned, writes Katie

It is likely that plans for the development of children’s
trusts will be softened, with the removal of the 2006
implementation date. This will allow time for the pilot
children’s trusts to be evaluated.

Andrew Cozens, president of the Association of Directors of
Social Services, said that such a move would be welcome.

“I’m particularly concerned that a model that
hasn’t been evaluated could be imposed on councils in
trouble,” he said.

Children’s trusts may remain the preferred model for
partnership working, but it is believed that the government may be
taking on board concerns that there should be flexibility in local
arrangements and that no single model should be enforced.

Similarly, it is hoped that there will be flexibility in the
plans for appointing a director of children’s services in
local authorities. While the bill is expected to set out a
requirement for a director of children’s services to be
appointed, the accompanying guidance is likely to explain how this
could be implemented.

As a result, the children’s services director position
could be in addition, and probably senior, to a director of
education and a director of social services.

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