Labour’s performance on vulnerable children fails to satisfy professionals

More than half of social care professionals feel the
government’s policies on young offenders, children in poverty and
young asylum seekers have failed, an exclusive poll for Community
Care has found.

The survey of just over 1,000 professionals challenges the
government’s “war on yobs” and reveals a widespread belief that
Labour has failed vulnerable children.

Sixty-five per cent of professionals rated the government’s policy
on prevention of youth offending as poor, while 56 per cent gave a
similar low rating to its treatment of young offenders.

Most professionals said the government’s performance on child
poverty was also poor, and one-third believed the treatment of
child asylum seekers had worsened since 1997.

However, professionals were evenly split over the effectiveness of
the government’s flagship antisocial behaviour policy. Most rated
children’s services as good although only 2 per cent gave them an
excellent rating. Nearly one-third rated children’s services as

One third said Sure Start services were likely to improve when Sure
Start comes under council control in 2006, but four out of 10
believed they would get worse.

Almost half gave the lowest ratings to the government’s performance
on the care and social inclusion of vulnerable children. Quality of
life for deprived families was also rated low by more than

Looking to the future, social care professionals were optimistic,
with six out of 10 saying the Children Act 2004 and Every Child
Matters would have a beneficial impact on child protection.

Almost half believed the policies would also improve the life
chances of vulnerable children.

Around nine out of 10 social care professionals were confident that
the first children’s commissioner for England, Al Aynsley-Green,
would have a positive impact on the rights of children.

  • Community Care surveyed 1,096 social care professionals on a
    range of election issues. Further results will be released in the
    weeks ahead.


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