The cabinet reshuffle and ministerial re-organisation announced by the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday have won widespread support across the social care sector.
On the move of youth justice from the Ministry of Justice to become a joint responsibility with the Ministry for Children, Schools and Families,
Paul Cavadino, chief executive of crime reduction charity Nacro said: “Putting responsibility for young offenders alongside general responsibility for children makes complete sense and is something we have long campaigned for.
“This change makes it more likely that young offenders will be treated as children first and offenders second. It increases the prospects for constructive policies towards young offenders which would be more effective in reducing youth crime. This would increase public safety as well as helping children to avoid wasting their lives in criminal activity.”
Howard League for Penal Reform director Frances Crook said: “We’re really pleased they’ve taken on board one of our suggestions, which is to put youth justice in with children. Children should be children no matter what they’ve done.”
On the appointment of Alan Johnson as the new secretary of state for health King’s Fund chief executive Niall Dickson said: “As well as concentrating on the continuing reform of our health services we hope he will not forget the other major challenge – the urgent need to find new ways of funding and delivering high quality and personalised social care.”
John Knight, head of policy at disability charity Leonard Cheshire said: “It is absolutely vital that Alan Johnson sees the future of social care as a key priority in his new role. Clear decisions on funding, on eligibility criteria and the status of social care are desperately needed. Critically, there needs to be an urgent, transparent and honest debate between the government, local authorities and people who rely on social care about who is responsible for paying for social care services.”
On the appointment of Hazel Blears as the new secretary of state for communities and local government, UNISON head of local government Heather Wakefield said: “We welcome Hazel Blears to the helm of DCLG and look forward to working constructively with her team to solve some of the acute challenges facing local government, such as this year’s miserly 2% pay offer, mass outsourcing and also ensuring that the unlawful pay gap between men and women in many councils is discontinued.”
On the appointment of Ed Balls as the new secretary of state for children, schools and families, Francine Bates, chief executive of Contact a Family and board member of the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign said: “Ed Balls has shown his commitment to some of the most disadvantaged children in society by his work championing disabled children through the recent government review Aiming high for disabled children. The Every Disabled Child Matters campaign is delighted that he will now be the minister responsible for delivering the commitments made in the review. Ed Balls has already built a close relationship with our campaign and with many of our families, and we look forward to that relationship continuing in his new role.”
Marion Lowe, chief executive of The Family Fund, the UK’s largest grant-maker to families of disabled children, said:
“This is fantastic news for disabled children and their families. Ed Balls is one of the government’s strongest and most effective supporters of disabled children. His appointment should ensure that the recommendations of this May’s review of disabled children’s services will be implemented, leading to real improvements in families’ lives over time.”
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