Every Child Matters - the Green Paper

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Department for Education and Skills, 2003

These pages provide a summary of the 2003 Green Paper Every Child Matters and an overview of some early key documents. The Update section contains a selection of recent news items. For the most up to date information and publications from Every Child Matters, visit www.everychildmatters.gov.uk

Contents

Overview

The 2003 Green Paper, Every Child Matters, published alongside the Government's response to Lord Laming's Report into the death of Victoria Climbié, proposes a range of measures to reform and improve children's care. The aim is to protect children, but also go beyond, and maximise the opportunities open to young people to improve their life chances and fulfil their potential. The Green Paper mentions a number of related areas to improve the life chances of children at risk including parenting, fostering, young people's activities and youth justice. It proposes to build on what has already been achieved (including Sure Start, raising school standards and steps to eradicate child poverty), through new Sure Start Children's Centres in the most deprived neighbourhoods, full-service extended schools and more activities for children out-of-school through a new Young People's Fund. There will also be increased investment in child and adolescent mental health services and speech and language therapy.

There are additional reforms proposed to the youth justice system, including extending the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme by making it an alternative to custody, and making a greater use of residential placements such as intensive fostering for young offenders.

Proposals

There are four main areas for action:

A Parenting Fund of £25 million over the next three years is proposed, with universal services providing information and guidance to engage parents in their child's development, targeted and specialist support to parents requiring additional support and compulsory action through Parenting Orders as a last resort where parents are condoning a child's truancy, anti-social behaviour or offending.

Early intervention will be addressed by improving information sharing between agencies on children in their area with the contact details of the professionals who work with them, a unique identity number and common data standards, coordinated in each local authority by one lead officer responsible for ensuring data is collected across services for children. Children known to more than one specialist agency should have access to one named professional to lead on their case. Professionals will be encouraged to work in multi-disciplinary teams based in and around schools and Children's Centres.

The aim is to make working with children an attractive, high status career and to develop a more skilled and flexible workforce, including a common core of training for those who work solely with children and families and those who have wider roles to develop a more consistent approach to children's and families' needs.

Changes in Government

A Director of Children's Services will be accountable for local authority education and children's social services while the Government has created a new Minister for Children, Young People and Families within the Department for Education and Skills to coordinate policy across Government. Responsibility for children's social services, family policy, teenage pregnancy, family law, and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service has been brought into the DfES.

NLT response to the Green Paper

The National Literacy Trust submitted a response to the Department for Education and Skills. We support the vision of the Green Paper to improve the life chances of all children; however, we believe that there should be a greater emphasis on language and literacy in the strategy. You can download our response as a Word document.

Link

For more information, including a summary of the Green Paper, a summary for children and young people, the Green Paper in full and the resulting Children Bill, visit www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/publications

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