Children’s trust pilot plans revealed

The Department of Health is planning to pilot children’s trusts in
14 local authorities, Community Care has learned.

Details of the functions the DoH expects the trusts to perform, and
accompanying standards, are to be included in a prospectus to be
distributed to local authorities and voluntary sector organisations
by the end of the year.

Bids by local authorities to set up children’s trusts are expected
to follow soon after, with the first wave of sites scheduled to
begin operating by late 2003. The DoH is expected to provide an
incentive for councils to pilot the trusts by providing extra
funding for successful bids.

Community Care understands that the pilot sites will not undergo a
formal three-year evaluation process before children’s trusts are
rolled out to other local authorities that are interested in
developing them.

A DoH spokesperson said no decisions had yet been made on the
number of pilot sites or the amount of funding.

However, speaking at the Howard League for Penal Reform annual
meeting last week, chief inspector of the Social Services
Inspectorate Denise Platt, said the DoH had been “inundated with
requests” to pilot the trusts.

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