To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he intends to take in the light of the report of the inquiry chaired by Mr. Louis Blom-Cooper QC into the Kimberley Carlile case; and if he will make a statement.
This is a full and detailed report which deserves careful consideration by all those with responsibilities in this field; indeed, many of the recommendations to individual agencies have already been put into effect and others are under consideration.The Government have a major programme of work in hand which addresses a number of the recommendations. The report quite rightly emphasises the need for clarity in this complex area of law and the Government have recognised this need and their proposals are set out in White Paper "Law and Child Care and Family Services". In addition, the Chief Inspector of the SSI issued a "Dear Director" letter on 24 June which set out the powers available when access to a child is refused and further guidance is under consideration on the effect of a place of safety order.The Government have already established a central training initiative for child abuse. Stages one and two are well under way and address awareness and recognition, referral and handling of case conferences, in-depth training in treatment as well as a video on medical diagnosis in child sexual abuse. The report's recommendations on exchange of information will be tackled in the practice guidelines currently being drawn up.It would not be right for the Government to pre-empt the outcome an recommendations of other current inquiries which may have points of similarity in relation to child care procedures. These will be considered in the redrafting of "Working Together."