The Frustration That Led To Brexit Shifts British Politics
An article in The Guardian (May 16, 2014) stated: ‘The power to take children away from their families could be privatised along with other child protection services
The proposal from the then Michael Gove’s Department for Education (DfE) to permit the outsourcing of children’s social services in England to companies such as G4S and Serco has alarmed experts. They say profit-making companies should not be in charge of such sensitive family matters, and warn that the introduction of the profit motive into child protection may distort the decision-making process.
The government has backed down over plans that would have allowed social services departments to set aside the rights of vulnerable children.
A key part of the Children and Social Work Bill is being axed after Lord Laming, who chaired the Victoria Climbie inquiry, joined a campaign against it (bbc.co.uk 3 March 2017).
Prof Eileen Munro, whose social work review inspired the Children and Social Work Bill, said the opt-outs create “more dangers than benefits”.
“I have reached the conclusion that the power to have exemption from primary and secondary legislation creates more dangers than the benefits it might produce,” she said (11 February 2017).
About 50 organisations publicly oppose the proposed exemptions – including the British Association of Social Workers, The Care Leavers’ Association, Women’s Aid, Liberty and the National Association of People Abused in Childhood.
They have banded together to form a group called Together for Children to oppose the Bill.
“We have been unable to find any example of any other country which allows councils to opt out of their duties to very vulnerable children and young people, including those the state is directly responsible for by law.” ~ Carolyne Willow, director of independent children’s rights organisation Article 39
After months of campaigning, we succeeded!
On the evening of 2 March 2017, Parliament published a document showing the Education Secretary Justine Greening had added her name to amendments to LEAVE OUT the clauses for good. This was passed on 7 March.
On 27 April 2017, Royal Assent was granted to the legislation – without the exemption clauses!