Campaign success – Children and Social Work Act 2017

Royal Assent was granted to the Children and Social Work Bill late yesterday, which means it is now an Act of Parliament.

Our major campaign to protect the rights of vulnerable children and young people succeeded!

The whole of Chapter 3, comprising eight clauses, was removed from the legislation after sustained opposition by Article 39 and many others. The clauses would have allowed local authorities to opt-out of their children’s social care duties contained in legislation from 1933 onwards. Many parliamentarians strongly opposed the clauses, including Shadow Children’s Minister Emma Lewell-Buck MP and former Children’s Minister Tim Loughton MP.

Article 39 was a founder member of the Together for Children campaign, which fought these dangerous clauses until they were finally removed last month.

Article 39’s Director, Carolyne Willow, said:

“The exemption clauses were an audacious attack on the rights of vulnerable children and young people. In one Act of Parliament Ministers, the Chief Social Worker for Children and Families and a handful of supporters sought an unprecedented and far-reaching power for councils to opt-out of their children’s social care duties.

“Had 53 organisations and many concerned individuals not persisted in defending children’s rights, we could be today facing the dismantling of universal legal protection for vulnerable children and young people. Instead, we can feel enormous relief and joy that these vital legal obligations remain intact.”