Climbie’s parents disappointed with green paper

The parents of Victoria Climbie have expressed their
disappointment at the government’s failure to create a
national agency for children and families, writes
Natasha Salari.

Francis and Berthe Climbie wanted to see the national agency
established as part of the green paper. In his report of the
inquiry into Victoria’s death, Lord Laming proposed setting
up an agency to be led by a chief executive who “incorporates the
responsibilities of a children’s commissioner for England”,
and would also include a ministerial children and families board
chaired by a cabinet minister.

The couple said: “Although we hoped that all of Lord
Laming’s recommendations would be honoured in the green paper, we
have now seen that the government will not be establishing the
national agency for children and families. We are concerned by this

“The government has sought to assure us that Margaret
Hodge’s appointment as full-time minister for children and
[education secretary] Charles Clarke’s new responsibility for
children and families at cabinet level will be sufficient. We now
hope to see a clear system of accountability established – leading
up to the prime minister – to ensure all concerned with child
welfare accept their responsibilities.”

The family added that they would be meeting with Margaret Hodge
in a few weeks time, and that they would be looking for evidence
that the measures proposed in the green paper will provide the same
level of accountability as a national agency would have done.

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