The government will carefully consider objections to its recently announced privatisation plans for children’s services, Edward Timpson has declared.
The Children’s Minister acknowledged the opposition of several organisations during an appearance at the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) annual conference in London this week.
In a letter to the Guardian newspaper, a group of childcare experts said of the plans, outlined in a government consultation:
“The intention that private sector organisations such as G4S, Serco, Atos and others should be able to run child protection services causes considerable concern.”
BASW and the Social Workers Union have since launched an online petition expressing their opposition.
But the Minister insisted the idea would not be pursued as a matter government dogma. He told delegates:
“I’m not blindly going down a path as people might assume is the case.”
“I’m aware concerns have been raised and we will consider them seriously. We will look carefully to see what we can do to address concerns.”
The MP for Crewe and Nantwich continued:
“I want you to innovate – not just when things are going wrong, but when things are going right.”
The plans would see all children services currently delivered by local authorities – with the exception of adoption – opened to private tender.
Photo of Edward Timpson via edwardtimpson.com