Councils could opt out of 80 years of children’s care legislation

Topics covered: legislation, local authorities, social work

The Government’s Children and Social Work Bill has received criticism from social workers, care leavers, lawyers and others regarding an exemption clause.  It has been reported that twenty different membership and campaigning organisations have united to oppose clause 29 of the bill. Clause 29 stipulates that local authorities will be exempt from legal duties under certain pieces of children’s social care legislation, including sections of the Children Act 1989 and the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. The Education secretary will have the power to spare local authorities of such duties for up to six years.

The potential implications have been described as “dismantling” as local authorities would be able to opt out of parts that they find inconvenient.


Some have welcomed the proposed changes, particularly Chief Social Worker for children, Isabelle Trowler, who contends “the proposals could help challenge rules.” The Government have also said this change is hoped to allow councils to test out new ways of working in a more efficient manner

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