Executive unveils plans for integrated children`s services

The Scottish executive has announced radical plans to integrate
all children’s services, according to a symbolic joint announcement
by education minister Jack McConnell and minister for health and
community care Susan Deacon, writes Reg

In a new report, ‘For Scotland’s Children – Better
Integrated Children’s Services’, McConnell said a ministerial
taskforce would be formed to drive forward progress on integrated
services. Guidance is to be published on the use of the £63.5
million children’s fund. Further guidance is to be issued on
planning integrated services between social work, health and
education services.

McConnell said: “We need to close the gap between those children
who succeed in life and those who fall behind. To achieve this we
need to find better ways of working together.”

Deacon said: “Better services must be based around the needs of
the child, every child and not around the needs of the service
whether it is the NHS, a local authority or the voluntary

Local authority social work departments, education and other
services will play lead roles in the new direction. The Convention
of Scottish Local Authorities welcomed the executive’s

Newly appointed Cosla president, Pat Watters, said: “Local
authorities as well as sharing the executive’s commitment are
already moving to an integrated service approach, but more needs to
be done.

“We must all work towards the aim of ensuring that the most
vulnerable children in Scotland get the best possible start in
life. All Scotland’s children, no matter what their circumstances,
should be given every opportunity to try and realise their full
potential. They deserve no less.”





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