http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010 ... ped-tories Child protection expert Lord Laming defends reforms Tory want to scrap
Conservatives claim changes have added to bureaucracy and buck-passing
* Randeep Ramesh, social affairs editor
* guardian.co.uk, Sunday 11 April 2010 18.38 BST
Lord Laming, the social services expert behind some of the biggest reforms in child protection in the last decade, has defended a number of key proposals he authored after it was revealed they would be scrapped by an incoming Tory administration on the basis that they only "added to bureaucracy".
Michael Gove, shadow secretary for children, schools and families, told a trade publication that the Tories would repeal the law that set up children's trusts ‑ brought in in the wake of the murder of eight-year-old Victoria Climbié in Haringey ‑ and placed a "duty to co-operate" on police, schools and social services.
Since April 2008, all local authorities have been required by law to have children's trusts in place overseeing those who work with the most vulnerable. Professionals describe the trusts as "vital" for safeguarding children.
In an interview with Children & Young People Now, the Tory spokesman said this obligation simply led to a "huge array of meetings … often it's the case that you have a buck-passing culture where because everyone's in a meeting, no one is responsible."
Despite being a crossbencher, the peer was the architect of Labour's Every Child Matters programme, a framework to improve the lives of children. His recommendations led to the Children's Act in 2004, the creation of ContactPoint, a database that will hold information on all children in England and Wales ‑ which the Tories have promised to scrap ‑ and the appointment of Britain's first children's commissioner.