The recently launched National Service Framework for Children,
Young People and Maternity Services is unlikely to meet its
objectives without extra resources, according to a survey by
Around three-quarters of the front-line social workers and managers
who responded to the web-based survey believed the decision by the
government to fund the implementation of the NSF out of existing
children and family budgets made it unlikely to succeed.
Some of the NSF’s measures include duties on health and social
services departments to provide greater support for children and
families facing homelessness, substance misuse and mental health
More than two-thirds of respondents were also critical of the
government’s decision not to set more specific targets for
implementing any aspect of the children’s NSF, as has been done
with other NSFs. Only 8 per cent said the 10-year timescale for its
introduction was a good thing.
On a more positive note, three-quarters of respondents felt the NSF
would break down barriers between health, education and social care
workers to a great or some extent, with a similar proportion
believing this would also help all agencies give a greater priority
to children’s issues in their work.
More than half of respondents were concerned that the decision to
allow local authorities, health services and schools to implement
the NSF at a local level would lead to inconsistent implementation
across the country, which in turn could lead to a postcode lottery
of service provision.
Just over a quarter, however, felt this would enable services to be
more responsive to local circumstances.