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Children: Protection

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what changes he is planning to the integrated children's system; (284785)

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to local authorities of implementing proposed changes to the integrated children's system.

Baroness Delyth Morgan's letter to all directors of children's services on 22 June was accompanied by a circular setting out the principles which will guide future development of the Integrated Children's System. These principles make clear that it is the responsibility of local authorities to determine how information systems can be used to support the delivery of social care services.

The Government will work with practitioners to simplify the national specifications of ICS, local authorities will not be required to comply with the published specifications, although this does not alter their obligations to comply with their statutory duties towards children and their families.

A copy of Baroness Delyth Morgan's letter is available from:

The detailed local consequences of these changes will depend upon the decisions of individual local authorities. It is a matter for the authorities to determine how to invest their budgets in the maintenance and upgrading of their IT systems,, and information on this expenditure is not collected centrally. The Department has indicated that it will support this expenditure with a capital grant for ICS of £6.4 million in 2009-10.