Headlines: April 2nd, 2007



Local authorities that provide children’s social care services are being sent a report setting out more than a hundred new policies based on what children have said is important to them. The report has been compiled by Dr Roger Morgan, the Children’s Rights Director for England and it is also going to Government officials looking at how children should be looked after in the future, key members of Parliament, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, Ofsted, and each of the of the UK Children’s Commissioners.

The suggested policies range from staff being trained in ‘de-escalating’ situations before restraint becomes necessary, to places that care for children having clear rules about adults touching or spending time alone with children. Inspectors are urged to ensure appropriate action is taken when children raise concerns with them.

The report says that the ways in which councils support young carers should be checked whenever council services are assessed and that young people should not be made, or expected, to leave care until they feel ready at which point they should have clear entitlements to money and support. Ensuring children and young people have access to the right information, and enough of it, also features in a number of the proposed policies. Dr Morgan also suggests there should be no targets for how many children councils take into care and that they should make the right decision for each child.

Dr Morgan said the report brought together ideas that children and young people had put forward in the past three years about their experiences of social care services. “It is a list of policies that children want people providing services to follow. I hope that those working with children or involved in policy making will take note of what children want and need,” he said.

The reason for the report being released now is that from this week the Children’s Rights Director’s team is moving from the Commission for Social Care Inspection to the new Ofsted, which has taken over the regulation of social care services for children and which becomes the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills.