Childrens' charities question remit of new commissioner

The Government's Green Paper proposal this week to appoint a children's commissioner with responsibility for policy but no authority to look into individual cases has been criticised by charities.

"There is a need to ensure that the commissioner's role has teeth and a need for individual cases to be championed and supported," said Penny Dean, director for children and young people at The Children's Society.

Charities are broadly supportive of the Green Paper, but are also keen to see how the far-reaching changes it proposes to the structure of children's services will actually be implemented.

"It will involve a wholesale culture change and require professionals to re-think their views about working together," said Caroline Abrahams, director of public policy at NCH. "It is going to take a lot of money, commitment and leadership to achieve that."

There will now be a three-month consultation period during which charities will study the implications of the paper.

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