Scottish reform ‘must match cash’

Investment in Scottish child protection services must be matched
with reform, first minister Jack McConnell told a child protection
summit in Glasgow this week.

The summit was organised after a major review of all child
protection services found that more than half of at-risk children
in Scotland were not adequately protected or cared for (news, page
10, 28 November 2002).

McConnell said urgent action was needed before another child died
“at the hands of the very person supposed to be caring for them”.

The summit gave senior local authority, health, police and
voluntary sector representatives the chance to decide how to act on
the executive’s response to the child protection review.

Ministers want a three-year reform programme for child protection
services, an expert team to oversee reform and tackle poor
performance, a new inspection system to ensure reform is delivered
and a children’s charter setting out the support children have a
right to expect.

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