The collaborative spirit in which Prof Munro’s report and the government’s response (pdf) to recommendations made in the final Munro Review (also pdf – sorry) have been developed is a model for future reviews of this nature which will doubtless greatly aid implementation.
And the wide range of those to whom Ministers have written (including schools, health bodies and the police – all currently subject to reform programmes) emphasises the extent to which effective child protection depends on the active and informed involvement of all those working with children, young people and their families; it is essential that, in turn, they all recognise this responsibility.
Two issues remain a cause for some concern. First, there is continuing uncertainty (in the absence of a national database and universally adequate local arrangements) about the mechanism through which professionals concerned about a child’s safety can find the relevant information they might need.
Second, and more importantly, Prof Munro was very clear about the risks of adding responsibilities to the role of the DCS. However, it is apparent that around a third of authorities have already done so, largely as a result of the need to make significant savings. There is a danger that, should another serious failure of child protection occur (and Prof. Munro is clear that risk can be managed, but not eliminated), a contributory factor will be that child protection was only a small, though important, part of the wide responsibilities of the person in overall charge.
This post is based upon an LGiU members briefing written by Martin Rogers. For more information on LGiU membership please email email@example.com.