Nagalro joins Campaign to Revoke new regulations SI No 445
‘The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020’ -statutory instrument: no 445
Nagalro has joined the steering group organised by Article 39 and is fully behind their campaign Scrap SI 445 to get the regulations withdrawn. These regulations came into effect on 24 April without any Parliamentary scrutiny and debate.
Stop Press: on 7 May Article 39 formally threatened legal action against the Department for Education, if it does not withdraw SI 445.
The letter before action claims the government has acted unlawfully in its failure to consult on the changes and in not giving any time for Parliamentary scrutiny. The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus)(Amendment) Regulations 2020 (statutory instrument 445) remove or weaken 65 children’s safeguards, without any evidence of their connection to the current serious health crisis. We focus our claim on six specific changes:
The dilution of duties relating to social worker visits to children in care, where even a six-weekly telephone call is no longer mandatory;
The removal of the duty to hold six-monthly reviews of children in care;
The loss of safeguards for children placed out of area with people who are not connected to them;
The loss of safeguards in relation to short breaks, particularly affecting disabled children;
The loss of independent scrutiny (pre-court stage) and other safeguards in adoption; and
The dilution of the duty on children’s homes to ensure independent visits and reports on children’s welfare there.
Article 39 is calling on the government to withdraw the statutory instrument with immediate effect and to give an assurance that any new regulations will be subject to proper consultation, Parliamentary scrutiny and children’s human rights and equality impact assessments.
The Children’s Commissioner for England was not consulted about the regulations and calls on the government to withdraw them. She says
‘I would like to see all the regulations revoked, as I do not believe that there is sufficient justification to introduce them. This crisis must not remove protections from extremely vulnerable children, particularly as they are even more vulnerable at this time.’
You can read the full statement by Anne Longfield here:
Other key organisations in the children’s sector were only informed of, not consulted about, the changes. Children's rights in care must be defended.
To read more and in particular the original article by Carolyne Willow from Article 39 ‘Ministers use COVID-19 to destroy children’s safeguards’ go to https://article39.org.uk/news/
In our view, these changes are not necessary and are not forced upon us by Covid-19. Vulnerable children should not be stripped of their most basic protections.
For further information about the campaign SCRAP SI 445,
to see the list of organisations and people supporting the campaign and to add your name click here https://article39.org.uk/scrapsi445/
Read blog dated 26 May 2020 by Editor of Seen and Heard, Rodney Noon, on this website on Seen and Heard page, Editor's Blog. https://www.nagalro.com/blog/20/nagalro_joins_campaign_to_revoke_si_no_445