Campaigner calls timing of database proposals into question

Information sharing proposals in the children’s green paper
were written before the Victoria Climbie Inquiry even began,
Community Care Live delegates heard today, writes Lauren

Terri Dowty, policy officer at children’s charity Action
on Rights for Children, told Community Care Live that,
rather than being a response to Lord Laming’s
recommendations, the database proposals were part of pre-existing
plans to move towards electronic service delivery – or
e-government – within the UK.

She said that, 18 months before the children’s green paper
was published, a report from the Cabinet Office’s Performance
and Innovation Unit suggested that joined up electronic service
delivery could assist in identifying children at risk of social
exclusion and families in need of services, and in information
sharing within the Sure Start scheme. It included no mention of
child protection.

 “We are asked to believe a lot of things about the
Children Bill, and quite frankly Alice in Wonderland’s six
impossible things before breakfast springs to mind,” Dowty
said. “We are expected to believe that Every Child
was a response to the Laming Inquiry, rather than a
pre-existing government policy that was waiting for the right

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