The big question

    Will England’s new children’s commissioner make any
    difference to young people’s lives?   

    Angie Lawrence
    Single parent

    If the commissioner is as free from government control as it
    promises, and if their reports are not vetted, they can make a
    difference. I agree with the need for a strategic rather than
    watchdog role. In this way the commissioner will be more effective
    in helping staff involved in a child’s life to communicate
    successfully.

    Shaun Webster
    Change self-advocacy group

    It might be a good thing. I’d want them to include disabled
    children and those with learning difficulties. I hope a
    commissioner would encourage social services to improve but I don’t
    know if this will happen. I get angry when people are left out, I
    hope a commissioner will change that.

    Jean Stogdon
    Grandparents Plus

    We are in danger of putting all our hopes from how we have failed
    our children into the commissioner. There must have been a some
    political ambivalence about this role otherwise we’d have had it
    before. I’d welcome a person in a powerful post who’d pick up on
    wrong thinking before the professionals do.

    Kierra Box
    Young people’s campaigner

    He or she could have a great impact, but only if young people are
    involved in developing and implementing the post and only if the
    commissioner is given true powers to change the way we are treated
    in society. I worry the commissioner may become a token gesture,
    unaccountable to and unknown by those who need representation.

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