February date for softer children’s bill

The children’s bill and its regulations and guidance are expected
to be published in February, Community Care understands.

It is likely that the plans for the development of children’s
trusts will be softened, with the removal of the 2006
implementation date. This will allow time for the pilot children’s
trusts to be evaluated.

Andrew Cozens, president of the Association of Directors of Social
Services, would welcome such a move. “I’m particularly concerned
that a model that hasn’t been evaluated could be imposed on
councils in trouble,” he said.

Although children’s trusts may remain the preferred model for
partnership working, it is understood that the government may be
listening to concerns that there should be flexibility in local

It is hoped that the guidance to accompany the bill will also allow
flexibility around implementing plans for appointing local
authority directors of children’s services.

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