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Move over bureaucracy; make way for a streamlined system to keep children safe

7 February 2011

In June 2010, the government requested Professor Munro conduct an independent review of child protection procedures in England. Munro concluded that professionals are constrained from keeping a focus on the child by the demands and rigidity created by inspection and regulation.

The current system puts too much emphasis on bureaucracy. Munro makes a series of suggestions to streamline the processes. For example, Working Together to Safeguard Children is 55 times longer than it was in 1974. She wants a shorter manual, containing a clearer set of the core principles and rules. The review is also considering whether, when a child is referred to children’s social care, an existing assessment could be continued, rather than the current system which starts a new bureaucratic process of initial and core assessments.

This is not the first time we have seen this type of recommendation. It is difficult to achieve in reality. A big help will be a government which allows a system to run without frequent tinkering.

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