Children’s trusts lose the Welsh vote

Children’s trusts are inappropriate for Wales due to its “separate
and distinctive” approach to services for children and young
people, the Welsh Assembly has confirmed.

In a statement to Community Care, an assembly spokesperson
said: “We are aware of the need for health, social care and
education services to work together, but do not believe that this
should require formal structures outside the current partnership

He said health and local authorities were already working together
with the voluntary sector to provide co-ordinated services at a
local level through children and young people’s framework

Jo Howsam, children’s services lead for the Association of
Directors of Social Services in Wales, agreed that trusts were

He said Wales differed from England by having health boards that
were co-terminus with local authorities and area child protection
committees based on local authority boundaries.

He added that because of Wales’s size, its children’s commissioner
was able to perform a different role from the commissioner proposed
for England and be “much more involved in local issues”.

Children and young people’s minister Margaret Hodge told the
parliamentary Welsh affairs committee that it was “fine” for Wales
not to establish children’s trusts.

In September, Hodge highlighted the distinction between children’s
services in England and Wales.

She told the committee that she preferred to be situated in the
Department for Education and Skills because “education touches
every child”. Her counterpart in Wales, Jane Hutt, works out of
health and social services.

Hodge said: “We are able to ensure that the thread of targeted
services goes right through to every service that we offer

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