I believe wholeheartedly in consultation, engagement, empowerment, and ownership. But not as just buzz words to drop into meetings. Rather, I believe in what these words stand for at their best: genuine conversations between practitioners, partners, patients, policy makers and even politicians; shared insights into what works and what needs work; and a commitment to agreeing and delivering change, and all that that entails.
The government has launched a consultation on its welfare-to-work programmes, and UnemployedNet is responding on behalf of workless people. We want your opinions to help us tell the government why and how their schemes, including the Work Programme, Work Choice, work experience schemes and others, need changing.
Barnardo's believes that the scandal of child poverty in this country will only be tackled when action is taken to improve both the income and the access to services that the poorest families have. We know that money matters to the poorest families - especially when rising living costs, stagnating wages, a weak labour market and spending cuts are placing more pressure on them than ever before. Many families in poverty in the UK live on just £12 per person per day after housing costs. That £12 has to stretch to cover everything: food, electricity, water, gas, bus fares.
We are very concerned about plans for the new police and crime commissioners to organise and fund virtually all help for victims and witnesses. This would mean patchy local services rather than the current national backbone of support and the potential waste of £21million of tax payers' money on red tape and form filling.
This is of interest to anyone who teaches Personal, Social, Health and Economics subjects, including Sex and Relationships, and Citizenship. Did a shudder run through you when Nadine Dorries made the latest - and not the last - assault on gender equality with her proposal for abstinence education for girls only? Please speak up now