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Children: Protection

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many preventable child deaths there were in 2007; and if he will make a statement. (247008)

The reviewing of all child deaths by Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) became mandatory in April 2008. We will shortly be collecting data on the number of deaths reviewed by each LSCB in 2008-09 and the number of these deaths which boards assessed as having been preventable. These data will be published in autumn 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policy and practice of the Joint Chief Inspectors' report on safeguarding children. (247390)

The Government published their full response to the joint Chief Inspectors' report on 15 December 2008. This accepted all of the recommendations on safeguarding. The report provided evidence of improvements in children's services and in outcomes for children and young people since the previous report in 2005, but noted that there was still more to be done to ensure that reforms were being implemented systematically by all local agencies so that children in every part of the country receive the protection they need.

On 12 November 2008 the Government announced that an independent report would be prepared by Lord Laming on progress being made across the country in implementing effective arrangements for safeguarding children. Lord Laming's work will address key features of good safeguarding practice and whether they are being universally applied across the country, including the development of the professional work force, inter-agency working and effective means of public accountability. Lord Laming will also look at what specific actions should be taken by national Government and other agencies to accelerate improvement across the country.