Child Protection

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:01 pm on 24th October 2007.

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Photo of Lord Adonis Lord Adonis Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 6:01 pm, 24th October 2007

My Lords, I understand the strength of feeling in the House. All I can say is that from my experience as a Member for only two years, the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, can be relied upon to bring the attention of the House to this issue on every available opportunity. I am sure that she will not be slow to that once we have published the report. We will respond in any way that is appropriate and I understand the points made by my noble friend. I would simply say that in this area we are implementing the will of Parliament, which deliberated on this issue at great length three years ago, and the position that was reached then was achieved by a substantial majority on a free vote in this House. I am sure that there will be opportunities to consider this further.

I am almost out of time, so I will have to respond to many of the other points in writing. A number of concerns have been raised about eCAF, to which I will also respond in writing, as I think that some alarmism has been generated. However, let me deal with the specific point about the relationship between eCAF and ContactPoint. Our vision is that, in future, when a common assessment framework has been logged in an eCAF system, ContactPoint will be automatically notified that a common assessment has been carried out and will be sent contact details of the practitioner who completed or updated it. However, there will be no access to the common assessment via ContactPoint. ContactPoint will display these contact details, so that another practitioner looking up the child will discover immediately whether a common assessment has already been carried out and whom to contact about the child.