Minister should lead child protection board

The government has been urged to set up a
national child protection board to co-ordinate policies.

Norfolk social services director
David Wright told delegates that the board should be steered by a
cabinet minister.

said: “We need government support when the cock-ups happen to
ensure the other agencies are called to task. Where is the
accountability in the other agencies, where it gets beautifully

said all agencies must communicate more effectively.

child protection system in this country worked well on the whole,
he said, but social workers did not receive the credit they

said the system for protecting children “was one of the best in the
world”, with one of the lowest infant death rates in the developed
world. The focus on family support was a very effective means of
preventing disasters from happening.

also called for area child protection committees to be put on a
statutory footing, repeating a call from other organisations such
as the Association of Directors of Social Services.

Catherine Watkins, who is team
manager for a children and families assessment team in West Sussex,
said that other agencies should be more focused on child protection
work and she called for mandatory child protection training for
staff from all other agencies.

Beresford, who is chairperson of the user-led body Shaping Our
Lives, said children must be heard in child protection cases, and
asked why Victoria Climbie was not asked about her situation using
a French interpreter.

crucial and defining issue from the murder of Victoria Climbie is
that no one listened to her or spoke to her and no one asked her
about what was happening,” he said.

said children could be consulted on the services they needed, even
if it involved talking about sensitive issues.


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