Tag Archives: Local government

Munro Review: CPS MUST be freed from ‘UNHELPFUL TARGETS’

Image Children & Young People NOW! LogoBy Lauren Higgs Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Children’s social care services should be freed from government targets and every council should appoint a principal child and family social worker, Professor Eileen Munro’s review of the child protection system has claimed.

Eileen Munro with children's minister Tim Loughton: Munro claims too many forms are hampering effective practice

Eileen Munro with children’s minister Tim Loughton: Munro claims too many forms are hampering effective practice

The review, which was commissioned by government after a spate of child protection scandals, argues that a one-size-fits-all approach to safeguarding and “tick-box culture” is preventing local areas from focusing on the needs of children.
Munro claimed too many forms and procedures are preventing professionals from being able to give children the help they need.
“That is why I am recommending that unhelpful targets for completing assessments within a set timescale are removed,” she explained.

“Professionals should instead concentrate on making good quality assessments that really focus on delivering the right help for the child, and checking whether that help has improved the child’s life.”
Children’s minister Tim Loughton said the Munro review is the first review of its kind that hasn’t been initiated as a direct reaction to a child death or serious case.

“This has allowed for a wide-ranging and in-depth review with some radically different proposals for reform,” he said. “It is clear that Professor Munro has taken a long hard look at what is preventing child protection services from working as well as they should in this country and I welcome her thorough analysis of the problems.
“It is now up to the government and the children’s sector to work together to look at the recommendations in detail and assess the implications of their implementation in practice for the long-term, not as a short-term fix. To do this the government will be working closely with a group of professionals from across the children’s sector and we will respond to Professor Munro’s recommendations later this year.”
Marion Davis, past president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said Munro’s review seeks to make the whole child protection system more coherent.
“It is important that this systematic approach continues in the implementation of all the review’s recommendations across local and national government,” she claimed. “This review gives all social work employers a strong steer on what steps need to be taken to support an excellent child protection system and it will be strongly welcomed.”
The government has given the Children’s Workforce Development Council £79.9m for social work funding for 2011/12. This money is to be spent on helping local areas address specific challenges including high vacancy rates, problems recruiting child protection social workers, and increasing referrals of children to social care services.
Munro’s recommendations include plans to:

  • Remove the statutory requirement on local authorities to complete social care assessments within “artificial set timescales”
  • Free services that work with children and families from unhelpful government targets, national IT systems and nationally prescribed ways of working
  • Change the approach to conducting serious case reviews (SCRs), learning from the approach taken in sectors such as aviation and healthcare
  • Introduce a duty on all local services to co-ordinate an “early offer” of help to families who do not meet the criteria for social care, to address problems before they escalate
  • Require local authorities to protect the discrete roles and responsibilities of director of children’s services and lead member for children’s services
  • Reform Ofsted inspections so they follow the child’s “journey” through services, add more weight to feedback from children and families and examine how all local services, including health, education, police and the justice system contribute to the protection of children
  • Keep experienced social workers on the frontline even when they become managers so that their experience and skills are not lost
  • Designate a principal child and family social worker in each local authority to report the views and experiences of the frontline. At national level, a chief social worker would be established to advise government on social work practice
  • Revise the statutory Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance and the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families
  • Require employers and higher education institutions to work together so that social work students are prepared for the challenges of child protection work

BBC News 27/02/2011 Children in care far from home ‘at risk

Gov intends to reduce the number of children sent away

Charities are warning that thousands of children placed in care far from home are more vulnerable to criminality, drug abuse and sexual exploitation.

A third of the 64,000 children in local authority care in England and Wales live outside their local area.

The charities say long-distance placements often traumatise children who are already damaged and vulnerable.

From April, councils are due to be forced to have sufficient accommodation for children in their care.

Thousands of children are currently being looked after in foster or children’s homes hundreds of miles from their local area.

Charities – including Barnardo’s, the Who Cares Trust and Voice – say uprooting an already vulnerable child can be highly traumatic.

Children in care are often deeply damaged from past abuse, neglect, or growing up with addict parents, the charities say.

A shortage of local authority children’s homes stems from child abuse scandals in the 70s and 80s, they say.

Private care homes have cropped up, but often in rural locations where property is cheaper.

Local authorities, which pay the private homes, remain responsible for the children, but social workers can struggle to maintain contact with them if they are accommodated far away.

The government plans to enforce a “sufficiency duty” on local authorities from April.

Intended to cut the number of children being sent away, councils will have to increase care provision for children in their local areas.


PAIN to Chair Forced Adoption tv Interview


Parents Agains INjustice (PAIN)  is a wonderful organization. I have corresponded with Florence & Allison and I am looking forward to this viewing.

I frequent this site and have an RSS feed of your posts going onto my page.

I personally recommend this blog and their other pages to all who seek information regarding Family Law and Care Proceedings

Parents Organisation To Chair Forced Adoption Television Interview

A Midlands based support organisation Parents Against Injustice is to host an event this coming weekend, to highlight the ever growing increase of forced adoption within the UK.

PAIN spokesperson Alison Stevens says that there has been a huge rise in Social Services Care Proceedings since the Baby Peter tragedy, resulting in some Parents having their children wrongly taken into care, mirror imaging the events of Cleveland in 1985, when over 200 children were removed from their Parents, based on the conflicting medical evidence given in the family court arena by Paediatrician Dr Marietta Higgs.

At the time she stated, that all children had been sexually abused by their parents or other persons. The evidence was later discredited by some professionals, but too late for some families, that had been torn apart by forced adoption.

Some 26 years after Cleveland and the substantial Public Inquiry chaired by Dame Butler-Slosh, there is very little change, with the policy of over zealous Social Workers taking babies into care  within hours of birth, on emergency protection orders, with very little or no real evidence to support such drastic action.

The televised event organised by French journalist Florence Bellone will show the effect and the trauma of such events, based within the secret family courts and the programme will also screen interviews of family members who have lost children to a system that is based on lies and here say, with conflicting evidence given by the so called expert witnesses, who pander to the wishes of Local Authority’s, to gratify their adoption targets.

Children’s Panel Solicitor Brendan Fleming, based in Birmingham, will be interviewed about his experience of dealing with cases within a city that has been declared NOT FIT FOR PORPOSE, with regards to the children’s Services within the area, by a Social Services Department that has failed grossly to protect vulnerable children, resulting in child deaths.

Ms Bellone states that there is very little evidence of forced adoption, within France and Belgium and her findings will shock the general Public on the continent.


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