Children's agencies call on government to take a back seat

A coalition of children's agencies from the public and voluntary sectors has warned the Government should not use the forthcoming Green Paper on children's services to take central control or prescribe how services should be provided.

The Children's Interagency Group, which includes charities such as Barnardo's, the Children's Society and the NSPCC as well as professional bodies and public agencies, insists that local councils, their partner agencies and families are best placed to develop appropriate services.

"The Government's role should be to set national standards to which all children's services must work, and monitor progress against them," said the group.

The long-awaited Green Paper is expected to be launched next week. Leaks to the media suggest that it will set out plans for a children's commissioner for England, as recommended by the Laming report on the death of Victoria Climbie, the girl killed by her great aunt.

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