Government to implement changes without consulting social care field

Social care sector leaders have reacted with dismay to the
revelation by children and young people’s minister Margaret Hodge
that key parts of the children’s green paper are not up for

Speaking at a General Social Care Council conference last week,
Hodge made it clear the government would not change its mind on
some aspects of Every Child Matters, including plans to
create a new children’s director role in each council, despite

“We will legislate for a director of children’s services and a lead
council member for children,” Hodge told delegates, adding that it
would be unfair to suggest otherwise.

She said the proposals to support families were a “green area” of
the green paper, however, and that that was the part people could

The Association of Directors of Social Services and the Local
Government Association have written to Hodge expressing their
concerns over the plans for a children’s services director to be
appointed in every local authority, which they believe are too

Alison King, chairperson of the LGA’s social affairs and health
executive, said the association was “dismayed” to hear that there
would be no further discussion on the issue.

She added that, while she knew the green paper was going to go
straight to bill stage, she was under the impression that
organisations had until December to respond and that the results of
the consultation process would be incorporated into the bill.

ADSS president Andrew Cozens said that, while the principle of
accountability of the children’s services director may not be
negotiable, he hoped arrangements for individual councils would be
open to discussion.

Meanwhile, at a separate conference, there were calls for plans in
the green paper to place a duty on local education authorities to
promote the care and education of looked-after children to be
extended to primary care trusts and schools as well.

Richard Jarrett, assistant director for children and families at
Staffordshire Council, said that such a duty was required because
it was still difficult to get PCTs to provide the necessary
services for looked after children, while some schools were
reluctant to take on these children due to fears that they would
drag down attainment levels.

Jarrett added that board members and chief executives of PCTs
should regard themselves as corporate parents, together with local

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