Busy time yesterday commenting on the Laming report on BBC, Sky and elswhere, including lots of local radio. The Independent have published my op ed today. The Guardian published a piece from me yesterday which has generated lots of comment, not all of it supportive as you would expect. Also, check out a short podcast on the Guardian site.
You can download the Laming Report in full. A summary of its key points:
• The creation of a children and families board chaired by a senior government minister to coordinate policies and initiatives that have a bearing on the wellbeing of children and families.
• A major change in the training and professional development of social workers including a greater focus on practical skills and specialist training at the end of the first year of study;
• Department of Health prioritise recruiting and training more health visitors to support very young children.
• The staffing, training and status of police child protection teams should be addressed by the Home Office; and
• Ministry of Justice take action to reduce the length of time taken to complete court processes in care cases and review the increases in court fees made last year.
• More is done to ensure children and young people get support as early as possible to prevent problems escalating and creating a risk of serious harm;
• A programme of management training for key personnel in all of the main services in order to ensure that these organisations are led by strong, confident and able managers with a clear understanding of their responsibilities towards vulnerable children;
• Steps are taken to ensure that all professionals involved in keeping a child safe share information, assess risk, and make decisions effectively together to keep children safe;
• Systems are put in place to ensure that GPs and Accident and Emergency staff have the right information and training to identify and protect a child they fear may be at risk, especially across organisational boundaries;
• A greater focus on the skills and experience of inspectors who evaluate frontline services which aim to keep children safe; and
• The Serious Case Review process is revised so that it supports swift, effective learning of lessons when a child suffers serious harm, and Ofsted inspect Serious Case Reviews on how well they learn these lessons.