The government has published new guidance for children's social services after relaxing statutory duties.
Enver Solomon, Chief Executive at Just for Kids Law said:
“We welcome today’s changes made by Government to the ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for local authorities on children’s social care’ in response to calls we led with others across the sector which recognise the particular vulnerability of care leavers during this COVID crisis. The updated statement that local authorities must continue to meet their statutory responsibilities and reach out proactively towards care leavers is the right approach and the government should never have suggested any alternative was acceptable.
The introduction of additional safeguards in the updated guidance to ensure that the new regulations on children’s social care are monitored by Ofsted and approved at the highest level of local government are important protections to ensure these measures are only used when absolutely necessary. However, whilst we recognise the pressures facing councils we are still not convinced of the need to weaken vital legal protections for the country’s most vulnerable children at a time when they need their corporate parents more, not less, and would like to see the regulations withdrawn.”