Agencies call for national approach

A coalition of children’s charities and local government groups has
called on the government to collaborate on the creation of national
standards and service outcomes for children’s services following
publication of the children’s green paper expected next week.

A joint statement from an interagency group working with children,
including the Association of Directors of Social Services,
Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society, National Children’s Bureau and
the Local Government Association, says the green paper offers a
“unique opportunity to look ahead, reflect and move forward to how
we would like children’s services to be in five or more years’

ADSS children and families committee co-chairperson Jane Held told
Community Care that a common set of national standards and outcomes
would mean all professionals working with children would adhere to
a “standardised framework rather than a centralised,
forensic-driven approach”.

She said that cultural, structural and professional changes would
be necessary nationally to support the common outcomes and shared
standards because each professional regards their own working
culture as the most dominant.

A performance framework used to measure the new national standards
will also be needed. This was significant, Held said, because all
staff dealing with children followed different performance
frameworks and needed clarity on how their work will be judged in
the future.

Management and governance of the standards at a local level and
establishing what powers local authorities will have to ensure
others meet their responsibilities also need to be addressed, the
group says.

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