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Conservative politician: child protection is “everyone’s responsibility”

Society must recognise that the protection of vulnerable children is everyone’s responsibility, a Conservative councillor has claimed.

Sir Merrick Cockell is leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Chairman of the Local Government Association. Speaking at the National Children and Adult Services Conference in Harrogate this week, he told delegates:

“We especially need to get away from thinking that safeguarding is only the responsibility of child protection professionals and the police and realise it is everyone’s,” he said. “In many ways, once it gets to this point [where official intervention is required] it is too late.”

He insisted that Britain has one of the most of the effective child protection systems in the world, and criticised the current management and inspection regime:

“We also have to get away from the model of top-down performance management by different departments trying to drive improvement by pointing the finger and naming and shaming people and organisations. The inspectorates should hold services to account and give parents, professionals, and councillors the information they need to tackle underperformance.”

The current situation would be detrimental in the longer term, he claimed. “This negative model for improving children’s services is driving an exodus of professionals that will undermine, not improve services.”

Improvements should be driven from within children’s services themselves, he declared, and not imposed from outside by inspectorate Ofsted or the government.

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  1. Paul says:

    Allowed to police themselves in the interest of service improvement or to cover up their misdeeds? You choose.

  2. David Mortimer says:

    —– Original Message —–
    From: [email protected]
    To: [email protected]
    Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 11:34 AM
    Subject: ‘Disturbing’ rise in child sex abuse

    Dear Theresa May,

    It must be about 10 years ago now when we meet you & some of your colleges & still nothing has been done about some of the issues which we raised with you when you were in opposition. I hope that now you are Home Secretary you will take a lead on child protection in the UK by ensuring local authorities child protect policies are evidence based & those who fail to protect children are made accountable by the law.

    I have just sent out a freedom of information request to every UK local authority to ask them to provide me with what information they have & I am publishing their replies on my website.

    I am under the impression that my MP Mark Lancaster has forwarded my concerns onto the Home Office & it’s being discussed I hope with a view to changing & improving both policy & the outcomes for children.

    I have also written to David Blunkett who says the Children & Families which is still being debated by parliament does not go as far as he or I would wish. The current proposals are the sole custody model of family law dressed up to look like something different.

    However one looks at the future of divorced couples and their children logic and research is on the side of joint custody as the presumptive first choice. As a society, we must move into the next century armed with realistic custody practices that protect the documented needs of children. Continuation of the defacto presumption for sole custody simply, will not do.

    Yours Sincerely

    David Mortimer

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