Children and Social Work Bill

Read our briefings for parliamentarians.

The Children and Social Work Bill introduces a number of welcome improvements to support looked after children, learning in the child protection system, and in children’s social care. However, new powers in the Bill must come with safeguards to ensure children's best interests always come first.

Key messages

  • This Bill continues to focus only on high levels of need, and does not consider how to support children before they reach ‘crisis point’.
  • The statutory framework protecting children must better integrate the expertise and resources of all professionals in the system, so that children receive the right help at the right time.
  • The Bill gives the Secretary of State additional powers to exempt local authorities from requirements under social care legislation. In the context of squeezed budgets and increasingly diverse needs, it is right that local authorities explore innovative ways of working and that we review aspects of legislation that prohibit professionals from delivering the best outcomes for children. However, there is not currently enough evidence to support the need for these changes, and it is unclear how a child’s right to access the support they need will be affected.

The Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers is calling for:

  • A corporate parenting principle to promote recovery from past harm.
  • The application of corporate parenting principles to central government departments, health and other agencies and a lead health professional to ensure health needs are met.
  • Entitlement to support for all care leavers up to the age of 25.

 

Find out more about the Alliance for Children in Care.

 

If you have a questions about our work on the Children and Social Work Bill, please contact Sam Reeve, Public Affairs Manager.

 

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