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Children: Voluntary Organisations

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government has taken to include the third sector in strategies to improve the lives of children. (188537)

The third sector has played and continues to play a key role in the development and delivery of Every Child Matters. The sector is strongly represented on the Children’s Plan Expert Groups which were set up in autumn 2007 to support the Department with developing the Children’s Plan and to consider its implementation and the challenges to delivery.

Third sector organisations have been instrumental in the development of many individual policies, for example, Aiming High for Disabled Children (AHDC), the Government’s transformation programme for disabled children’s services. They continue to be key partners as we implement the AHDC programme and are represented on the Ministerial Implementation Group that oversees the programme.

Other groundbreaking areas of the Department’s business where the third sector engagement has been very influential include support for parents, particularly fathers, early years provision, services for children in care and the provision of positive activities for young people. The sector’s capacity to deliver innovative services, to reach out to some of the most disadvantaged and disengaged and to provide a voice for children, young people and families is highly valued by the Department.