The looked-after children green paper contains some “potentially mixed messages” for local government, delegates at the National Children’s and Adult Services Conference heard today.
Councilor Les Lawrence, chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people’s board, said that some proposals in the document could undermine councils’ role as corporate parents.
Lawrence said that plans to create independent social work practices providing services for looked-after children, which will have contracts with local authorities, may not sit well with council’s responsibilities to the group.
Lawrence added that local government needed to be much better at sharing its best practice on looked-after children efficiently.
“We need to focus on how to do this, knitting together current structures rather than creating new bureaucracy,” he said.
Maxine Wrigley, head of looked-after children organisation, A National Voice, who was also speaking at the conference, called for the £2,000 bursary outlined in the green paper for looked-after children going to university to be extended to children entering work placements or training as only a small number of the group go to university.