The Children Bill has set out differences in the development of
children’s services between England and Wales.
Under the provisions of the bill, councils in Wales will be
required to identify a lead director for children and young people
and a lead council member who will help to reinforce the director’s
But, unlike England, the posts will not change accountability for
service delivery but will centre on co-ordinating planning.
Local health boards and NHS trusts in Wales will also be asked to
identify lead executive and non-executive directors with
responsibility for children, but there is no requirement for
children’s trusts in Wales.
Statutory local safeguarding children boards will replace area
child protection committees, and the assembly’s Children and Young
People’s Framework plans will effectively be put on a statutory
The bill also transfers responsibility for the Children and Family
Court Advisory and Support Service in Wales to the Welsh
Welsh assembly health and social services minister Jane Hutt
welcomed the proposals. However, the children’s commissioner for
Wales, Peter Clarke, is concerned that plans to create an English
counterpart could undermine his role as a champion for Welsh
Clarke currently has no powers over non-devolved matters, such as
those concerned with the juvenile justice system, which come under
the responsibility of the Home Office.
He had hoped that his remit would be extended, but said his
recommendations had been ignored. He promised to lobby parliament
to bring about changes.