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Social Exclusion Action Plan

Volume 449: debated on Monday 11 September 2006

Today we are publishing the “Social Exclusion Action Plan”.

We have much to be proud of in our efforts to tackle poverty, promote social justice and create the right environment for sustained economic growth.

However, a consequence of this success is that the more modest progress of some specific groups within our society has become more apparent.

This Action Plan is the first step towards changing that. It aims to create the conditions to allow everybody to accept opportunity, reach their full potential and play their full part in society.

This Action Plan marks a new direction for the Government’s social exclusion policy. It commits us to:

Better identification and early intervention: We will identify early who is at risk of persistent exclusion and use this information to more effectively intervene and support those most in need, and before disadvantage becomes entrenched.

Identifying what works: We will systematically identify and promote interventions that work. To ensure effective adoption of best practice, we will build the capability of providers and commissioners.

Multi-agency working: We will break down barriers and enhance flexibility so local providers and agencies can work together to meet the needs of excluded groups, especially those facing multiple problems.

Personalisation, rights and responsibilities: We will tailor services to the needs of the individual. We will empower, where it is appropriate, excluded groups to make choices on their own behalf or ensure there is an independent, trusted third party to work on their behalf. Our approach will be framed by a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizens, services and the community.

Supporting achievement and managing underperformance: Where local authorities and services are delivering, Government will leave them alone. But where there is underperformance, Government will intervene.

The Action Plan outlines how these principles will be applied or piloted for excluded groups throughout the lifetime—during the early years, the childhood years and the adult years. Implementing more focused and immediate interventions will supplement and inform deeper systemic reform.

Copies of the Action Plan have been placed in the Library for the reference of Members.