Brown: children and families services to benefit from £53 million

New government proposals to improve the lives of looked-after children will go out for consultation early next year, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced yesterday in his pre-Budget report.

Services supporting children and families are to receive an extra £53 million over the next two years, said Brown.

Initiatives include:

*Evaluation of new practice in local authorities on managing cases of children being taken into care

*A pilot mentoring scheme for 600 looked-after children

*New parent support advisers in 600 schools

*More counsellors and social workers in schools to help children with additional needs, in six to ten “high-achieving” local authorities

Deprived communities are to receive unexpected cash in a new scheme announced by the Chancellor.

Several hundred million pounds lie unclaimed in dormant bank accounts, and this money should be “reinvested in the community, particularly in deprived communities,” said Brown. The government will work with banks to develop a new scheme.

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