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Vetting agency must foster responsibility

Keeping children safe from abuse is always a highly charged topic. It is naturally the first priority of most parents. It is vital for children's services departments, since a high-profile child abuse case causes untold damage not just to the child but to the whole service.

Election result prolongs uncertainty

At the time of writing -- on the historically uncertain afternoon of Friday 7 May -- the Conservatives were about to enter into negotiations with the Liberal Democrats about helping them to form a government.

Every Child Matters faces biggest test

The Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) pledged, in its annual report last week, to assess and build on the progress of Every Child Matters (ECM) for the next five years, as a policy priority for the coming 12 months. It is a good priority to hold, particularly given the uncertainty ahead.

Target families to end worklessness

One in six children and young people in the UK - around 1.9 million - live in a household where no-one works. The past few decades have seen the rise of intergenerational worklessness, where unemployment is deeply entrenched in families. This is despite the fact that employment rates have increased overall, the current recession notwithstanding.

Policy into practice - Homelessness

THE ISSUE: Having just passed the 10-year anniversary of Labour's commitment to halve the number of children in poverty by 2010, more than a million children in England still live in bad housing, enduring overcrowded, unsanitary or unsafe accommodation.

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.

In my view: A father's forgotten escape from poverty

The penultimate sentence of the follow-up book on the Milltown Boys - my 1980s study of disadvantaged young people on a Cardiff council estate - reads: "Like some of the other children of the more successful boys, their children will have little idea at all about the origins of their grandfathers". Nowhere is this more apposite than in the case of Tony Beech.

Right support vital to keep families together

The Clear Blue Waterreport by England's chief social worker Isabelle Trowler and the University of Sheffield is a brave, compelling and defensible reminder of the care we have to take over life-changing decisions about whether and why we think a child should be permanently removed from their birth parents.

Fighting for survival

A manager at one voluntary organisation talks about what the cuts have meant for her project's work, the fight to keep it going and her fears for the future.

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