Government Revises Controversial Children & Social Work Bill, But Is It Enough?


Reason to hope, but no celebrations yet. There’s a long road to travel and many potholes to negotiate but the move is forward as long as we keep up the pressure.

Researching Reform

The so-called innovation clauses in the Children and Social Work Bill, which would allow local authorities to exempt themselves from fundamental duties and legal responsibilities towards vulnerable children, have been revised as promised by the government after an aggressive backlash from child welfare professionals and campaigners.

Whilst the government still plans to go ahead with these sections in the Bill, they have made the following concessions which include the list below, of core legal duties that can’t be set aside:

  • Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 – the duty to provide appropriate services to children in need.
  • Section 20 – the duty to provide accommodation for children who appear to require it.
  • Section 22 – the duty to safeguard and promote welfare of looked-after children.
  • Section 47 – the duty to make enquiries and take action to safeguard or promote welfare of children at risk.
  • Section 10 and…

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