Send Views to Committee

Any person with relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Children and Social Work Bill [Lords] can submit their views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is considering this Bill.

The Committee will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 17 January 2017.

Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee can be found under Selection of Amendments.

The Committee met for the first time on Tuesday 13 December 2016: Transcript.

Some extracts from the transcript of the Public Bill Committee

Read the full transcript at source: here

Mrs Lewell-Buck (pages 7-8):

‘Corporate parenting is one of the most important roles that a local authority has. Local councillors take the responsibility extremely seriously. It is important that the role is not diluted and remains closely linked to democratic accountability. However, the principle of corporate parenting cannot simply end with local authorities. All agencies working closely with looked-after children and care leavers, although they are not corporate parents, should co-operate in support.

Children who rely on the corporate parenting principles will often have complex needs. Local authorities alone will not always be able to meet those needs. A full range of agencies, despite not being corporate parents themselves, will need to work in co-operation to support those young people’s complex needs. In particular, health and education have a vital role in ensuring the best possible outcomes for children in care. Once again, however, the Government have not gone far enough with the principles to ensure that young people in the care of the state will get the support that they need.

We welcome and support the principles of corporate parenting, but the Government seem to be simply hoping that new responsibilities for local authorities “to have regard” will be enough. In reality, unless the principles are a duty, they will for some children remain meaningless—empty words in an Act of Parliament, without any real impact on their lives. Those children need actions and not words, and “having regard to” something rarely translates into real action’.

Steve McCabe (page 8):

‘On the one hand we have clear duties imposed on the local authority, and on the other we have a new piece of legislation setting out new principles that local authorities must only “have regard to”. The implication is that one is an obligation and the other is simply something that they should have regard to. What is the distinction between the duties and the principles that made it necessary for the Minister to bring these principles forward?’

The Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families – Edward Timpson (page 9):

‘The hon. Gentleman will know as well as I do from his period shadowing me and the time he has spent talking to local authorities and children in care that we are trying to ensure that the responsibility for children in a local authority’s care does not just sit at the door of social workers; it should be the responsibility of the whole council under the seven principles we have set out. The principles give lead members for children’s services and independent reviewing officers a lever to help to achieve just that, both at a strategic level and for individual young people. It is important that the Committee knows that statutory guidance—we have provided a draft—will underpin the principles to make them as clear as possible’.

What next?

The Committee will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 17 January 2017. When the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 17 January 2017.

Written submissions must be received in good time for circulating to Committee members so time is very short. Scroll down for more information on how to format your submission.

Submissions to the Bill Committee

The recognised format for submitting views to the Committee is a Word document with numbered paragraphs, no more than 3,000 words.

You should begin your submission with a summary of your views and a short personal introduction.

Your name, address, telephone number and email address should go in a covering email, NOT in the Word document.

More details on how to send your views to the Committee: here

Comment on outsourcing in children’s services and the …

Commenting on outsourcing in children’s services and the recently published LaingBuisson report, Dave Hill, President of ADCS, said:

“When planning and delivering services for children and young people, it’s vital that the focus is on outcomes, over a particular method of delivery or type of provider. It is important to note that current legislation prohibits profit making from children’s social care and the government’s response to the recently published LaingBuisson report restates this position. This is right. The private sector is already heavily involved in many areas of children’s services including in the foster care and residential care sectors and through the supply of agency social workers. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to delivering children’s services and local areas must be free to put in place the best arrangements to suit local needs and protect the interests of our most vulnerable children, young people and families.”

Read at source: here

Next practice in children’s services

Worth having a read of this thought-provoking paper on the innovation and change which is taking place in response to austerity and driving ‘next practice’ in the sector: Pillars and Foundations: Next practice in children’s services – A Think Piece

Our mission is to help bring about improvements in practice and policy. Holding children at the centre of what we do through our work with and for them, we aim to lead and promote excellent care and services. The partnership consists of an elected Chair and elected Regional Leads who represent their regions at a national level (two from each of the nine regions within England).

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