The Children and Social Work Bill was introduced into the House of Lords in late November. If it comes into force, it could mean that Court Orders relating to Child Protection could become unenforceable.
The Children and Social Work Bill
The Children and Social Work Bill enables Local Authorities to request an exemption from Child Protection Laws so that the Local Authority can test different ways of working. The exemption could last up to 3 years and be extended by a further 3 years.
If the Bill were to come into force, Local Authorities could apply for an exemption from Court Orders relating to children in foster placements or care homes. This would leave the Court Orders unenforceable and children without legal protection.
The Governments Argument in Support of the Children and Social Work Bill
The Children and Social Work Bill hopes to achieve better outcomes for children or achieve the same outcomes more efficiently. A Whitehall source said to The Guardian: “Too many local authorities are simply not good enough when it comes to child protection. This is about encouraging innovation. It’s not about cutting red tape or cutting corners.”
The Arguments opposing The Children and Social Work Bill
The Bill has met with heavy criticism from various parties. 40 Charities including Liberty and Women’s Aid have joined together to form a group called ‘Together for Children’ which opposes the Bill. Martha Spurrier, the director of Liberty says “This regime would undermine fundamental principles of democracy and rule of law and expose the most vulnerable young people in our society to the risk of abuse and neglect.”
The Children and Social Work Bill is due to be introduced into the House of Commons this week and debated further.