Children’s rights legal digest – July 2020

With the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) resuming its work following temporary suspension during the pandemic, we dedicate this issue to the role of the LGO. We look at three decisions reached in response to complaints relating to children’s social care services, highlighting the role of the LGO as “the final point in the statutory complaints … Read more

Article 39 threatens legal action to protect vulnerable children

Article 39 has written to the Secretary of State for Education and government lawyers threatening a judicial review if a misleading document about local authority duties towards vulnerable children is not withdrawn. The document, produced by the Department for Education’s children’s social care innovation programme, claims to expose myths in common understandings of council legal … Read more

Secret report on future of children’s services finally published

After a two-year delay, the Department for Education (DfE) has published the report it commissioned from LaingBuisson and Cobic, which sets out how children’s social care services can be moved out of local authority control. The DfE Advisory Panel, consisting of Professor Julian Le Grand, Professor of Economics, London School of Economics; Alan Wood, then … Read more

Defending children’s social care rights

Article 39 is one of 31 organisations opposing the exemption clauses in the Children and Social Work Bill, which will allow the removal of council’s statutory duties towards vulnerable children and care leavers area-by-area. More than 140 individual experts, including many parents and carers of disabled children, are also calling for the exemption clauses to … Read more

DfE refuses to release key children’s services report

The Department for Education has today refused our freedom of information request for disclosure of a report it commissioned from LaingBuisson in 2014. We understand the report contains advice for the Government on moving children’s social care services out of local authorities. This could include the major transfer of children’s services to profit-making companies. In … Read more