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Plea for Children Act funds

One of Scotland's most senior social work figures has called for an urgent review of funding for the Children (Scotland) Act. Mary Hartnoll, social work director in Glasgow, said the social disadvantage of large numbers of young people was a "national scandal".

Ms Hartnoll told the Association of Directors of Social Work at its annual meeting in Aviemore: "The Scottish Office told the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities that a total of Pounds 14 million had been built in over the three years from 1995. Figures tell a different story.

"There has been a transfer in respect of community care. But for children's services the figure was slightly down with no allowance for inflation. There was an increase in 1994, but the next two years were cut by Pounds 18 million. The increase of under Pounds 2 million this year still brings the figure for children's services back to less than it was in 1992. The loss of inflation cuts its value by 11 per cent, and the loss of economies of scale due to reorganisation reduce it further."

Welcoming the appointment of Sam Galbraith as Minister for Children in Scotland, Ms Hartnoll urged the Scottish Office to co-ordinate a new initiative to examine the impact economic and social policies are having on the lives of children.

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