DfES says “no plans” for children’s white paper

The social care sector has raised fears that proposals in the
children’s green paper could be rushed through too quickly
because of the government’s intention to push ahead with
legislation early next year, writes Derren

It comes as the Department for Education and
Skills confirmed this week that there are “no plans”
for the vision of children’s services contained in Every Child Matters to be
developed into firm proposals in a white paper. This effectively
means the current consultation period is the only chance the sector
will have to influence the government before a bill is introduced,
where normally there would be a second opportunity.

While the news hasn’t surprised many
organisations, it has raised concerns. “You have to wonder
whether there will be real consultation,” said Helen Goody,
social affairs and health programme manager at the Local Government
Association. “The government has said they will listen, but
it appears that this is being pushed ahead very quickly.”

Caroline Abrahams, director of public policy
at children’s charity NCH, said it was important that any
bill should be drafted “very carefully” because
“children’s bills don’t come along very

It is likely the government will include plans
for legislative changes to enable some of the proposals to be
implemented in the Queens Speech in November.

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