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Gove gives joint working a rude jolt

Michael Gove's revelation to CYP Now that a Conservative government will remove obligations on local authorities to have children's trusts in place will come as a thunderbolt for children's services, particularly in their efforts to safeguard children and enable them to thrive.

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.

Tackle homelessness to end poverty

The government's target to end child poverty becomes even more important in light of the number of children and young people who are homeless or live in sub-standard accommodation.

Prolonged court delays scar children for life

The biggest intrusion by the state into family life is the removal of a child from its birth parents. So it is absolutely right that the courts should make the final decision, whether it is for a temporary or a permanent arrangement. However, it is paramount that there are proper checks because there are judgments to be made that are not always obvious.

Let's make allowances for the costs of fostering

Almost all of us love our children - even though they are occasionally difficult, temperamental or just obstreperous. We love them for what they are, whether that includes abilities or disabilities, and we would not have it any other way. Of all I have done, I am proudest of my children and what they have achieved - although, of course, it was not just me!

Sector must influence the coalition

They say that a week is a long time in politics. Quite. As predicted in these pages for many months, the new Tory Secretary of State Michael Gove has renamed the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) as the Department for Education.

Homeless teens enter the equation

The numbers of looked-after children are on the rise as the recession takes its toll on families and social workers become more risk-averse in the aftermath of Baby P.

Social workers must be prepared

An alarming 93 per cent of social workers believe that new staff entering the profession lack the necessary skills to do the job properly.

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.

The best education begins in the home

A number of issues have converged for me in recent months. There was the Rowntree report on family relationships, and the Sutton Trust report on social mobility - or rather, the shocking lack of it. The German EU presidency culminated this summer in a congress on young people and strategies for social cohesion. And, just the other weekend, Lewis Hamilton came within a point of being crowned Formula One champion in his first season. This could almost be a quiz question: what is the connection?

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