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Lightweight guidance puts children's interests at risk

This government's appetite for reducing regulation, prescription and bureaucracy in services for children is well known. Its desire is, to some degree, understandable. Labour in government did over-prescribe, it did over-regulate and it did micro-manage.

Can good services remain standing?

Like the suffocating drone of vuvuzelas, cuts continue to dominate the atmosphere in the children's services arena and in public services more generally.

Less money, but much more purpose

The Association of Directors of Children's Services' (ADCS) policy paper, which outlines some priorities to Education Secretary Michael Gove, is compelling and constructive in how the sector can do more with less while meeting government objectives.

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.

Family help will work for generations

Our main feature this week focuses on how Family Intervention Projects (FIPs) are turning many lives around. FIPs are in vogue. The Prime Minister pledged to extend them to 50,000 of the most chaotic families last autumn. And there is a rich seam of evidence now emerging that FIPs work. The latest evaluations suggest that two-thirds of families are no longer involved in antisocial behaviour as a result.

Children in care need to be heard

Young people from the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) debated in the House of Commons chamber last Friday, the first body of people other than MPs to occupy the green benches.

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