Children’s Minister Edward Timpson has written to the Directors of Children’s Services to clarify how the Children and Families Bill will be implemented.
Mr Timpson claims that the Government’s reforms, to be introduced in 2014, “will deliver a more simple, joined up system for the provision of education, health and social care for children and young people up to the age of 25”.
The Bill provides the framework for reform, but local authorities will have overall responsibility for putting the reforms into practice. The Minister is urging councils to prepare for implementation, though he acknowledges that many authorities have already been in touch with pathfinders in their area and Department for Education (DfE) contracted delivery partners to access support and advice.
Mr Timpson says he is keen to ensure that all parties involved get the help they need to make sure that the reforms are a success. He has asked the Directors of Children’s Services to complete an online survey detailing their progress towards implementation, the support they have already received and what additional support they feel they will need.
In October, the DfE will run an additional survey as part of a more formal evaluation of the Bill. This will include local partners such as schools, colleges and parent-carer forums.
Additional funding of £9m has been announced to help local authorities prepare for implementation. This will be paid out to councils in October this year.