§ Mr. Hutton
One of our stated objectives for children's social services (published in 1999) is to ensure that children are protected from emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect (significant harm). Within this objective, we have made clear our determination to reduce the incidence of both child abuse (significant harm) and repeated child abuse (significant harm).
The Department's policy research programme is mounting a new research and development initiative to contribute to the evaluation of the "Quality Protects" programme. The initiative will examine how the objectives of the programme are being translated into practice. The research and dissemination budget for the initiative will be £2 million over a period of four years.
In March this year, we invited tenders for this research initiative. There are four main areas of focus identified in the briefing paper for tenders, including "Children's protection from significant harm". The briefing paper invites proposals for a pilot study on the incidence of significant harm and repeated significant harm.