The dangers of big ideas

December 2, 2008

A smashing article from David Batty – one of the few journalists who has shown consistent understanding of the potential child protection problems that the government’s broad ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda creates:

The momentum of the government’s post-Climbié reforms has been to improve the wellbeing of all children rather than to focus on those most in need. The creation of children’s trusts in every local authority, combining education and social services, has arguably led to child protection being marginalised. Children’s directors face more political pressure over school league tables than problem families.

In favouring structural solutions to the problems identified in the Climbié inquiry, the government has failed to address the main requirement of good child protection – being able to make risk assessments of chaotic families often in difficult circumstances.