Blair on looked-after children green paper: lead professionals are key

Tony Blair indicated this morning that lead professionals for looked-after children will be at the centre of the government’s green paper on children in care.

Speaking to sector leaders at Downing Street ahead of the paper’s launch later this afternoon, the Prime Minister said the reforms must provide a structure that gave looked-after children stable placements.

Listening to the comments of charity and social services leaders, Blair said he was confident of a reasonable degree of consensus on the basic issues.

“It’s very clear it’s about stability, it’s about education, but it’s also about how they are given confidence in their own ability to attain,” he said.

Blair made several references during the meeting about the importance of lead professionals as advocates for children and as a link to other agencies.

In addition to lead professionals, the green paper will focus on preventing children from coming into care, improving the quality of placements, requiring better schools to take looked-after children, and transition to adulthood.

Blair said there were “always issues with resources” but that it was “not primarily a matter of resources”.

Education secretary Alan Johnson said the paper would contain “ideas, some proposals and some shades of white paper” but stressed it would be a “genuine consultation”.

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