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National Safeguarding Delivery Unit

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) when he expects the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit to be fully operational; (274252)

(2) who will be responsible for appointing staff to the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit;

(3) which experts from (a) central Government, (b) local agencies and (c) the voluntary sector will be appointed to the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit; and how many regional representatives that unit will have;

(4) what the planned budget is of the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit; and from which departmental budgets the Unit will be funded.

Pages 7-11 of “The Protection of Children in England: Action Plan—The Government’s Response to Lord Laming”, published on 6 May, included an explanation of the steps to be taken to establish the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit (NSDU), and noted that it would be operational by 1 July. This makes clear that the unit will be hosted within the Department for Children, Schools and Families and will include expert staff from the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and Department of Health as well as local agencies and the voluntary sector. Regional Government office staff will also work as part of the unit.

The precise number of staff, appointment arrangements and budget are in the process of being determined.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families will lead overall on the unit’s establishment, working closely with the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and Department of Health.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) when he expects the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit to make its first annual report to Parliament; (274255)

(2) when he expects the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit to have developed guidance on referral and assessment systems for children affected by (a) domestic violence, (b) adult mental health problems and (c) drug and alcohol misuse;

(3) when he expects the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit to (a) set and (b) publish a timetable for the implementation of Lord Laming’s recommendations on safeguarding children.

“The Protection of Children in England: Action Plan—The Government’s Response to Lord Laming”, published on 6 May, states that the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit (NSDU) will support Sir Roger Singleton, the chief adviser on the safety of children, in making his annual report to Parliament on progress on safeguarding and that his first annual report will be made in April 2010. Page 37 of the response sets out that the NSDU will publish its work programme by September 2009 and that the Government expect the production of guidance for the referral and assessment of children affected by domestic violence, adult mental health problems, and drugs and alcohol misuse to be identified as an early priority. The Government’s action plan published on 6 May also includes a timetable for the implementation of all Lord Laming’s recommendations.