Silence speaks volumes

Just three weeks after the government published its vision for the
future of children services, it hardly warranted a mention at the
Labour party conference. The two principal cabinet ministers
charged with the task of ensuring services are sufficiently
improved to prevent a repeat of Victoria Climbi”s death, did not
consider the green paper important enough to form part of their

Education secretary Charles Clarke mentioned Every Child Matters in
passing, but his health counterpart John Reid did not even utter
the words “social care” in his address. Maybe the bottom line for
national politicians is that social care policies will not
determine the fate of the government at the polls. But how can they
expect the sector to respond to a challenging agenda full of
structural changes, if they don’t consider new measures designed to
protect our vulnerable children important enough to discuss with
their own party?

Denise Platt’s comments this week that the Department of Health has
been slow to engage with social care and needs to set up forums
with social services directors and voluntary sector leaders,
compounds the impression that this government has some way to go if
it is to convince us that it regards social care as an equal
partner with health and education.

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