Response - Children's Trusts Legislative Options

By: Francesca Albanese  Published: September 2008


Shelter welcomes this opportunity to respond to the Department for Children, Schools and Families consultation on strengthening Children’s Trusts: legislative options. Our response will specifically comment on the following areas of the document: Extending the duty to co-operate; Children and Young People’s Plans and; Statutory Children’s Trust Boards.

Summary

Given the vital connection between housing and children’s well-being, Shelter believes that there are opportunities to improve engagement between local authority children’s services departments and social housing providers to support the achievement of ECM outcomes.  We, therefore, welcome the decision by the Government to examine whether Children’s Trusts need to be strengthened, including by further legislation. We would like to take this opportunity to put forward our recommendations on the need to more explicitly involve housing in these legislative changes.

Summary of Shelter’s recommendations

§         To extend the ‘duty to co-operate’ by naming social housing providers, including Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs), as ‘relevant partners’ of Children’s Trusts.

 

§         A stronger, more definitive reference to housing departments to be made in the ‘duty to co-operate’ for both district and unitary councils.

 

§         Responsibility for the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) should be widened to partners covered by the ‘duty to co-operate’ rather than solely the local authority.

 

§         A stronger statutory basis for Children’s Trust Boards should be established to help secure a more consistent performance and operation of Children’s Trusts in every local authority area.

 

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