Children and families event a hit

    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.

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