Radical changes in the pipeline

is growing that the government will announce the formation of a new child
protection agency in response to Lord Laming’s report on the Victoria Climbie Inquiry,
due by the end of the year.

It is believed that the No 10 policy unit,
the children and young people’s unit and government departments are considering
two options.

The first is to create a separate national
child protection agency, under which protection services would be split from
other children’s services; the second is a more radical plan to remove
children’s services from local authorities.

The latter would signal the end of council
social services departments as adult care services move into the remit of the
health service.

It has also been suggested that the
government may not wait until the Laming report is published and may announce
its plans to shake up the child protection system as early as the annual social
services conference in October.

Meanwhile, a presentation bill to end child
deaths occurring as a result of abuse and neglect was introduced to the House
of Commons last week by Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow.

The bill also proposes to place area child
protection committees on a statutory footing, appoint a children’s commissioner
in all parts of the UK and provide child protection training for all
professionals in contact with children.

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