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Lame reaction to protection worries

The Children's Secretary has talked a tough game throughout the Baby Peter child protection storm, taking swift action at the outset in commissioning Lord Laming to review child protection arrangements in England.

It's good logic to halve child poverty

The fiscal stimulus, be it tax cuts or increases in government spending, has been all the rage on both sides of the Atlantic, as the boldest way to ride the recession.

The key to Ofsted's rehabilitation

Ofsted has attracted its share of flak in recent months, much of it justified. The verdict of its Annual Performance Assessment of Haringey Council in late 2007 as "good" is now notorious.

Prevention is first line of protection

Lord Laming's report on the state of child protection has injected great urgency in efforts to keep children safe from abuse and neglect. All 58 of his recommendations to improve practice through better procedures, training and lines of accountability have been accepted by the government. The spotlight is on child protection like rarely before.

Editorial: The defiance of Sharon Shoesmith

Haringey's former director of children's services has now told her side of the Baby P story. Strikingly, three months on, the ability to unequivocally say sorry still eludes Sharon Shoesmith in the interviews that surfaced last weekend.

Editorial: This cycle of hate does children no good

The outburst of vitriol towards social workers emanating from some of the media and online message boards in the wake of Baby P has been comparable in tone to the daily demonisation of young people. They don't need to be repeated here. It is the tone of hate. The Sun newspaper has whipped up a bloodthirsty witch-hunt, inciting readers to sign an online petition for all the Haringey workers involved to be sacked. It's as if identifying and punishing those culpable would somehow resolve the problem and bring closure.

Tory policy still needs some improvements

There is a very real prospect that the next government will be a Conservative one. So it's encouraging that apart from the small matter of a global economic crisis, issues affecting children, young people and families took centre stage at the party's annual conference this week.

Editorial: Immigrant children remain children first

Children's rights campaigners won an important breakthrough last week with the decision that immigration officers will be subject to the same duty to ensure children's safety as other agencies (see p9). The requirement relates to Section 11 of the Children Act 2004, which is the duty to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This duty, which will apply to all staff employed at the UK Border Agency (UKBA), will be incorporated in the forthcoming Immigration Bill.

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