Friday, 28 November 2008

Children in care 'at more risk'

This is a disturbing article from the BBC. It seems that the City Council's inability to balance its budget is starting to hit the most vulnerable members of society. It is dismaying to see a breakdown in the duty of care that any government has to children in its custody, especially when the Council is continuously slashing the budget. Childcare and child protection should never be compromised.

One of Scotland's leading children's charities has expressed major concerns about the risks to children in the care of Aberdeen City Council.

Who Cares? Scotland said it was worried that low funding means it now could not be involved in meaningful consultations with children and young people.

It comes as the local authority is seeking to make £24m worth of cuts.
Aberdeen City Council said it had answered the letter but would not make further comment.

Who Cares? Scotland provides a voice for children and young people in care north of the border.

It runs advocacy services, looking after children's interests and rights.

'Limited service'

But BBC Scotland has learned that a letter written by the director of the charity, Heather Gray, indicates that those interests and rights are at risk.

Her letter was written in September to Aberdeen City Council's interim chief execeutive Robert Coomber.

Ms Gray expresses concern at low funding levels, claiming there had been a reduction in her service.

She said this was a "dangerously low level of independent advocacy" and that it was "not possible to deliver anything other than a very limited service".

Ms Gray concludes that this will result in an "increased risk for looked-after children".

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