Child protection register could become universal, minister says

    The government’s plan for a database covering all children
    and not just those at risk to be created could be made clearer in
    the Children Bill, writes Amy
    Taylor
    .

    Sure Start minister Cathy Ashton said that she hoped to make the
    ‘universality’ of the database clearer on the face of
    the Bill in a response to a letter from the Select Committee on the
    Constitution.

    The letter highlights that the intention is only made clear in the
    explanatory notes accompanying the Bill rather than the Bill
    itself. It states that ‘at the very least’ the plan
    should have been ‘indicated expressly’ by the
    government.

    Ashton said that the current drafting of the information databases
    section of bill is intended to include all children.

    If passed government amendments due to be debated in the House of
    Lords next week in report stage will change the Bill to contain the
    types of information that can be kept on each child.

    The amendment lists information including a child’s name,
    address, date of birth, and a specific number identifying them. It
    also states that ‘information as to the existence of any
    cause for concern’ in relation to the child should be
    contained on the database together with the names and contact
    details of professionals providing them with services.

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