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“Staying Safe”

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

I am today giving Parliament advance notice of a major consultation on children and young people’s safety. Keeping children and young people safe is a top priority and the responsibility of us all. The consultation document, “Staying Safe”, seeks views from parents, children and young people, our partners and the children’s workforce on the issues. I am today placing a copy of the document in the Libraries of both Houses.

“Staying Safe” has been developed working across Government and signals Government’s strong collective commitment to the safety of children. It has four key objectives. These are to:

raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding children and young people;

promote better understanding of safeguarding issues, and start to change behaviour towards children and young people, and their safety and welfare;

ensure that safeguarding activity is coherent and effectively co-ordinated across Government; and

reinforce existing activity by proposing new actions to plug gaps or improve linkages.

The consultation will run until 31 October 2007 including a range of activities for all interested parties to explore this vital area of work, and respond to the questions and issues set out in the consultation document. After the consultation, Government will produce a response and decide on follow-up action.

We hope that by talking about these issues, and by proposing new work in some areas, we can do even more to improve the safety of children and young people.