Councils to head offender strategies

Councils are to take the lead in developing local strategies to
prevent children and young people from falling foul of problems
such as drug misuse and truancy.

The strategies, which must be in place by next year, will need to
be agreed by local authorities, the local health authority, the
police and youth offending teams.

They should also show how each agency will contribute to improving
services for all children at risk.

Central to the plans, announced by minister for young people John
Denham, are systems to identify children and families in need of
support. These will enable agencies to share information and track

In August, Denham called on Children’s Fund partnerships to use the
£600m promised in the spending review for the next three years
to develop effective identification, referral and tracking
procedures (news, page 6, 22 August).

Denham said the strategies, which would be monitored as part of the
inspection process, would not place extra bureaucratic burdens on
local authorities.

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