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Children: Abuse

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department is taking to ensure that recent reforms to child protection systems are (a) implemented and (b) resourced in full in Nottinghamshire. (322871)

The Department’s children and learners teams in regional Government offices support and challenge local areas to improve all outcomes for children including child protection and wider safeguarding performance. Since the publication in 2009 of Lord Laming’s report “The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report” we have reviewed the role of those teams in relation to safeguarding and have also recruited a new cadre of specialist safeguarding advisers. These will be in place from April 2010.

Expenditure on children’s social care, which includes child protection, has increased nationwide from £2.22 billion in 1997-98 to £5.73 billion in 2008-09 in cash. This is a real terms increase of over 90 per cent., equating to an average real terms increase of 6.1 per cent. per annum. Nottinghamshire has benefited from this extra investment.

The Secretary of State announced on 17 March the publication of “The Government’s Response to Lord Laming: One Year On” an update on progress made thus far on implementing the Government’s Action Plan in response to Lord Laming’s report. It includes a commitment of an investment of more than £200 million in 2010-11 to support the social work reform programme as well as a new Local Social Work Improvement Fund of £23 million in 2010-11.