HC Deb 06 December 1999 vol 340 c443W
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Childline; and if he will make a statement. [100945]

Mr. Hutton

The Department is committed to ensuring that voluntary organisations in receipt of section 64 funding gain maximum benefit from this financial support. The Department constantly keeps under review grants awarded, to check that the voluntary organisations such as Childline are performing effectively and the grants continue to take forward departmental policy priorities and objectives.

As part of this process, during the autumn of 1997, Childline had a routine but in depth inspection by the Department. The report was extremely positive, describing Childline as a significant national organisation. The monitoring, evaluation and review arrangements attached to grants received by voluntary organisations such as Childline, requires them to provide us with an annual report on the way the Department's funding has been used. The report gives a detailed account of what has been achieved during the preceding financial year.

Over its 10-year existence, Childline's achievements have been considerable. In particular, the agency has identified a previously largely unrecognised need; established a unique non-statutory service shaped from the start by children themselves in the way they used the service and the needs they expressed; built a good reputation becoming well respected and credible in the field; and maintained a very clear image to the public through the purity and consistency of its focus.