Headlines: October 21st, 2002

A call has been made for partnerships of local organisations to pilot new methods of delivering children’s services in their areas, based on the ideas set out in the discussion document “Serving Children Well” which was produced by the Local Government Association, Directors of Social Services and the NHS Confederation.It came as the LGA and the ADSS launched a national network forum for providers of children’s services. The discussion document has already led to a nationwide debate on the provision of services.

The two associations, and the NHS Confederation, are hoping that the pilot projects will show that all parties involved in children’s well-being can adopt shared ways of working and put into place effective systems to make sure this happens.

The Association of Chief Education Officers is also co-operating in the Forum which will produce a series of discussion papers and case studies looking at different ways of managing and delivering services for children in local areas.

The focus will be on a number of key themes including ensuring real involvement for children and young people and that a full part is being played by schools and education authorities. Other key areas are strengthening child protection, clarifying accountability and appropriate links with the youth justice system.

The Forum aims to share examples of good practice, helping local areas to learn from one another. The bodies behind the scheme hope that successful examples of partnerships working well will influence government thinking on the future of children’s services.