Hodge targets role of commissioner

The proposed function of the children’s commissioner for England to
promote and safeguard the rights of children could be

Children’s minister Margaret Hodge will try to water down the role
to promoting awareness of the views of children in England, as the
Children Bill passes through committee stage this week.

A group of Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs have tabled further
amendments to extend the duties to safeguarding and promoting
children’s welfare to regional offices of the National Asylum
Support Service, centre managers of immigration removal centres and
chief immigration officers at ports of entry.

The proposals on private fostering also face possible alterations.
Labour MP and former social worker Hilton Dawson wants to force all
private foster carers to be registered with the local children’s
services authority.

And Liberal Democrats Annette Brooke and Roger Williams want
housing authorities to appoint officers to liaise between
registered social housing providers and the local children’s
services authority.

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