The first ever Community Care Live Children and Families event
was voted a tremendous success by visitors and exhibitors.
Held at the Business Design Centre in London last month, the
one-day study day and exhibition built on the success of the annual
Community Care Live event. Almost 70 exhibitors and 1,500 social
care professionals attended the event, which boasted 80 speakers
covering a range of topics.
One of the key areas discussed was the development of the
children’s workforce and the structure of services.
Sure Start director Naomi Eisenstadt said that while a whole
range of children services had improved outcomes for children, the
key determinant of well being – their economic situation
– still needed a lot of improvement.
She said that to further improve integrated working with
children the workforce needed to be reformed. A common assessment
framework and core skills and knowledge across all of the different
professions were needed. Children’s trusts would bring
together all the key professionals involved with children, with
directors who were clearly accountable to their staff and to users
of their services.
But while she was in favour of bringing staff together she
emphasised that the boundaries between separate professionals
should not be blurred or confused. Instead the preferred route to
joint working was co-location – having all the services in
one building – not integrated services.
Barbara Hearn, director at the National Children’s Bureau,
said that a central plan to develop the children’s workforce
was needed across all the different sectors. The voluntary sector
was playing an increasingly important role in delivery of services
to children and the relationship between different professionals
and sectors had to be developed in a coherent fashion.
She also stressed that local initiatives should be allowed to
develop to meet local needs “let 150 flowers
Joyce Moseley, chief executive of Rainer, said that while the
current structure of services and workforce was good for children,
older adolescents would have to wait on the proposals in the youth
green paper to find out what reforms the government intended.
• More at www.communitycare.co.uk