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Government denies plans to privatise children’s services

Children and families minister Edward Timpson has denied recent claims that the government plans to privatise most children’s services except adoption.

Speaking at the annual Community Care Live conference in London, the Conservative Minister insisted that the government had “absolutely no plans” to change the current situation, in which local authorities are “accountable” for statutory children’s social work. Reports that they plan to do so were a “a misrepresentation of our ambition”, he declared.

However, said the Minister, “we are asking whether high quality services could be delivered by a wider range of organisations.”

He continued:

“Councils already have all sorts of other statutory responsibilities that they don’t provide in-house. They instead draw on the expertise, innovation and capacity of a range of other organisations from the voluntary sector and from small and medium-sized social enterprise, but not so in children’s social work.”

Current law prevents the creation of social work organisations to which local authorities could delegate some of their responsibilities, he noted. “The law says you can’t do it…That law means that children’s social workers have been denied the freedoms that other professionals have enjoyed for decades…we want these freedoms available in children’s social care as well.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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