Fears over market approach to children’s services

Plans to create a more “market” orientated
children’s sector could reduce the cost of services but cause
problems for clients, Andrew Christie, director of Hammersmith and
Fulham’s children’s trust, has warned,
writes Derren Hayes. 

Christie welcomed government plans for promoting
“contestability” in the commissioning of
children’s services because it would encourage more
voluntary, community and private sector organisations to become

However, he said there were parallels with the opening up of the
residential and nursing homes sectors, when an oversupply of
independent providers “caused pain and grief” for
service users whose homes closed. “The same thing could
happen for children and young people’s services,” he

The plans were unveiled in a Department for Education and Skills
letter to directors of social services and council and primary care
trust chief executives earlier this month. It asked them to assess
the current and potential market for children’s services and
what the barriers were for increasing the range of providers,
especially in integrated services.

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.