Queen’s speech to set out reforms

Children’s services are set to be central to the Queen’s speech
next week as the government outlines its legislative priorities for
the year ahead.

A children’s bill is likely to put forward proposals found in the
green paper Every Child Matters, such as every child in
England having a unique identification number to prevent them
slipping through gaps in the care system. Legislation could also be
brought in to enable councils, the NHS and the police to share
information about children and families more efficiently, for every
council to have a director of children’s services accountable for
education and social services and for children’s trusts to be
rolled out across England by 2006.

There are also proposals to ban smacking.

It is still possible that controversial plans to reform the Mental
Health Act 1983 could reappear which would include provisions to
widen the scope of compulsory treatment. The draft mental
incapacity bill, which gives courts the power to deal with all
personal welfare and financial decisions on behalf of adults
lacking capacity, is also set to feature in the speech.

New legislation to streamline asylum procedures and a draft housing
bill to improve housing standards could also be included.

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