Headlines: September 23rd, 1998

Health Secretary Frank Dobson says it is partnerships, both local and national, and involving the NHS and voluntary bodies, that will lead to the sweeping changes needed in children’s services.His comments come after the launch of Quality Protects:Transforming Children’s Services, a major three year programme designed to help local authorities raise the quality of services for children at risk and children in care.

He said: “This is where bad practice ends. With ‘Quality Protects’, we are making a start on making things better. The hard work of implementing this comes next. This will call for partnership. Working in partnership, at local level, at national level, between local authorities, voluntary bodies and the NHS, we will, and must, make a difference.

He promised new money for children’s services, new national Government objectives for children’s services, and new guidance for Councillors, clearly setting out their responsibilities.

He pointed to the numbers of children in care who grow up to be homeless or
in prison and said: “Everyone must take some of the responsibility for these facts. Not just social services staff, but other professionals as well.”