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Put child health hubs on England’s high streets

Public services are not known for being agile, but the pandemic has seen councils “pivot” to provide support online, redeploy staff where the demand is greatest and work across departments to meet a range of families’ needs.

Time for an end to 'children at risk' headlines

Have I Got News for You has a game based on guessing missing words in headlines. Perusing the papers recently, I noticed a headline: "X is putting children at risk, Xs say". Over the next few days, I read several other articles which this headline would have suited. Before I fill in the gaps, spend a few seconds thinking of a few words that might fit - it won't be hard.

Children Act well-intentioned duty now unrealistic

Often while walking between meetings my mind wanders back to the now familiar place it likes to pause: how to reconcile rising demand and reducing resource with high expectations that local authorities can and will minimise error in our child protection system.

North Wales scandals must produce legacy of listening

Listening to children and young people has never been more important. The need for strong leadership and vision, coupled with a cross-party approach to children and young people's services, is crucial. That was my message to the National Assembly for Wales' children and young people committee as I outlined my annual report for 2012/13 and reflected on the work of my office during the past 12 months.

LGA study is basis for fairer funding debate

Having worked at a senior level in a shire county (Somerset), a large city (Birmingham), and a medium-sized unitary (Dudley), I didn't need research to tell me that they are all very different.

Fight against poverty must stay in spotlight

Anyone who watched the BBC documentary Poor Kids last month will have been horrified to hear the stories, told by children themselves, about what it's like to be one of the 3.5 million children in this country who are growing up in poverty.

Election will determine children's future

It may be a "snap" general election, but it would be a stretch to describe it as a shock - many people had expected one to follow even more swiftly from the political upheavals of last summer.

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