Council exemption plans dropped by government

family law

The government has abandoned draft legislation which would have allowed local councils to opt out of their child protection duties.

The plans were included in the Children and Social Bill currently making its way through Parliament. They were intended to allow ministers to explore the value of outsourcing and consolidation in child protection services but charities expressed alarm, saying they could lead to the erosion of legal rights and an inappropriate, profit-driven approach by private firms.

As many as 50 charities and other organisations expressed opposition – amongst them the Care Leavers’ Association, the British Association of Social Workers and the trade union Unison. High profile social work academic Eileen Munro described the plans as “dangerous”.

Education Secretary Justine Greening has now agreed to remove the draft clauses, after Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck tabled an amendment proposing the cut.

The news was welcomed by Ruth Allen of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). She said:

“BASW strongly opposed the exemption clauses from day one. Our policy analysis from the outset was that these were risky for children and families, and would undermine the hard-fought for children’s rights framework of practice in England.”

A Department for Education spokesperson insisted that the proposals had been about “the power to innovate, which would have meant councils could test new approaches in order to support the country’s most vulnerable children.”

Photo of Justine Greening courtesy of DFID – UK Department for International Development via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

keith - March 3, 2017 at 8:22pm

” charities expressed alarm, saying they could lead to the erosion of legal rights and an inappropriate, profit-driven approach by private firms.”

So how come these charities have not also pressed for the abolition of forced adoption when its quite clear there is a very strong profit-driven approach operating with Adoption and foster care.

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