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10 Years of Labour Achievements

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The following piece was written for the Progress website:



It’s tempting to write about my constituency, more jobs, new schools and improved housing. There’s also Civil Partnerships, a law that brought much joy. But my choice reflects my days in children’s social work.


Back then children in care were bottom of the pile. Usually the reason they were in care was connected with their parents rather than them, but getting the right kind of help and support they needed was often impossible. They were treated as, and felt, second best.


In 1998 the Labour Government wrote to local councils, and all councillors, telling them that children in care were their children and they should treat them as such; that they needed more help and support than other children. With this exhortation came money.


After years of cuts, this investment changed the lives of some of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable children. 10 years on, children are leaving care when they’re older; more have qualifications with extra support beyond care. They still do less well than other children, but the recognition the Government gave then, and continues to do now, gives these kids the possibility of a better future than before. 

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