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The Children and Social Work Bill debate

13 January 2017

The Children and Social Work Bill is due to be debated by a House of Lords committee on Tuesday. The Bill proposes to exempt local authorities from certain requirements

imposed by children’s social care legislation in order to test new innovative ways of working. It is argued that the current social work practice prohibits social workers from developing new ways to support children in care. The exemptions contained in the bill have been strongly opposed by around 50 organisations, who have joined together to form a group called ‘Together for Children’. The organisation asserts that the children’s social care laws have been developed over many years due to new information, understanding and in response to failures.

If this Bill does become law, the boldest and most innovative local authorities will be taking on a significant risk. They will come under serious scrutiny if their new ideas fail to deliver. Local authorities should only initiate if there is strong evidence that it will be in the best inherent interest of a cohort of children and young people. Each local authority should vigorously monitor, supervise and, if necessary, revise new ways of working promptly.

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