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Children: Social Services

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department plans to take under the new burdens commitment to fund local authorities to implement recommendations made following investigations of the circumstances surrounding the death of Baby P. (320741)

[holding answer 5 March 2010]: Following the tragic case of Baby Peter, Ministers asked Lord Laming to prepare an independent report on progress nationally on child protection. Lord Laming published his report in March 2009 and the Government accepted all his recommendations. We announced a new £58 million Social Work Transformation Fund to provide an immediate boost for social work training, support, recruitment and retention. This is in addition to the £73 million for the children and families' social work workforce already allocated from 2008 to 2011 and the £100 million each year to fund social worker initial training, bursaries and practice placements.

Following consultation, we will shortly be publishing revised statutory guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children” to reflect Lord Laming's recommendations, recognise changes in the policy landscape, and help clarify roles and responsibilities between organisations and agencies. Local areas should already be delivering effective arrangements to safeguard and protect the welfare of children, and the revisions to the guidance will re-emphasise the need for the consistent application of effective practice.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many times the Government office for Yorkshire and the Humber approved an extension of the deadline for the publication of the serious case review into the death of Child BO5 in Doncaster; and for what reasons on each occasion. (323264)

[holding answer 22 March 2010]: Child BO5 died in October 2004 and the serious case review was initiated in November 2005. No procedure existed at that time whereby Local Safeguarding Children Boards were expected to discuss the proposed extension of deadlines for the completion of serious case reviews with Government offices for the regions. Accordingly, the Government office for Yorkshire and the Humber played no part in extending of the deadline for the Child BO5 serious case review.