Child protection services review leads to training revamp

Training for front-line workers and managers across the health and social care system is to be revamped following a wide-ranging review into child protection services.

A report by Lord Laming called for a “step change in leadership and practice” to help protect children from harm as he published his report into how children’s services have progressed since 2004.

Laming’s review into services in England found reforms brought in after the death of Victoria Climbie in 2000 have not been properly implemented. The peer led the Climbie inquiry and reviewed progress after Baby P’s death in Haringey.

The report recommends:

  • A major change in the training and professional development of social workers, including a greater focus on practical skills and specialist training at the end of the first year of study

  • Department of Health to prioritise recruiting and training more health visitors to support very young children

  • The staffing, training and status of police child protection teams should be addressed by the Home Office

  • Management training for key personnel in all of the main services

  • Systems put in place to ensure that GPs and accident and emergency staff have the right information and training to identify and protect a child they fear may be at risk

  • A greater focus on the skills and experience of inspectors who evaluate front-line services which aim to keep children safe.

Laming said: “I am convinced that with vision and ambition more can be done. That is why the recommendations I am making today herald the need for step change in expertise and leadership for front-line workers, backed up with commitments from government and other national bodies to drive this change forward.”

Children’s secretary Ed Balls has accepted all the recommendations and will produce an action plan in April.

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