Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Children's Commissioner for England Row

Who should be the new Children's Commissioner?

A lot of people are getting hot under the collar about the choice and about the appointment process. My own view is that I believe that the Children's Commissioner should be user, not producer, focused. We need a Children's Commissioner who can truly understand and represent the interests of children; and articulate the needs of every child and young person in England, especially those who are most disadvantaged, such as abused and neglected children.

We might ask ourselves whether a person who had excelled in a career providing local authority services is best qualified to fulfill the role. My instinct says "no". The kind of person I would most like to see as Children's Commissioner is a person who has excelled in listening to children and young people and giving them a voice; not a bureaucrat or an administrator but an advocate and a campaigner.