Latest news

  • Care review urges major reorganisation of children’s social care
    The children’s social care review has today (23 May) published its final report, making over 70 recommendations including the axing of independent reviewing officers and the creation of around 20 new regional bodies (called Regional Care Cooperatives – RCCs) across England to run and set up new fostering services, children’s homes and secure care, as … Read more
  • The future of care
    The children’s social care review, whose final report and recommendations are due to be published shortly, has stated that “[t]he state is not the pushy parent children in care need”. I support this sentiment though if I was looking for a catch-all term I’d emphasise devotion and dedication instead, since too often it’s the lack … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – May 2022
    This month, we focus on a recent judgment which found a local authority had failed to meet its statutory duties under the Education Act 1996, the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Children Act 1989. After identifying “serious and substantial breaches of duties” that left a 15 year-old child with complex needs without suitable … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – April 2022
    This month, we examine the unsuccessful judicial review brought by Article 39 against the Secretary of State for Education which relates to the changes introduced by The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. The 2021 Regulations amended The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010, making it unlawful for … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – March 2022
    In this issue, we focus on a decision of the Upper Tribunal (August 2021) – responsible for dealing with appeals against decisions made by the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) – which concerned local authorities’ power to maintain an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan after a young person’s 25th birthday. We take … Read more
  • High Court rules there was no discrimination in age-based legal protection for children in care 
    The High Court has this afternoon (16 March 2022) handed down its judgment on controversial secondary legislation which protects children in care aged 15 and under but not those aged 16 and 17. It has rejected all three grounds of Article 39’s claim: that the Education Secretary irrationally discriminated against 16 and 17 year-olds; that … Read more
  • FOI success for Article 39 – social care market study
    On 10 February 2022, the Competition and Markets Authority finally released correspondence to Article 39, which we requested on 26 February 2021 using the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Competition and Markets Authority had refused to release the information, relying on the exemption in section 31(1)(g) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Article … Read more
  • Government deletes Bill clause which allowed councils to run new secure children’s homes
    On Monday night (28 February), the government refused to accept a Lords’ amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which would have allowed local authorities to run a new type of secure children’s home. Labour pushed the matter to a vote at around 10pm; the government succeeded 314 to 190 votes. Secure 16 … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – February 2022
    In this issue, we take a closer look at a November 2021 decision of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman which found a local authority had failed to accommodate a child under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989, breaching statutory guidance and its own local guidance for social workers. The Ombudsman accepted the … Read more
  • High Court to hear children in care discrimination claim
    In a two-day hearing starting today (8 February), the High Court will be told that the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, has irrationally discriminated against children in care aged 16 and 17 by making secondary legislation which only protects children aged 15 and under. Lawyers acting for a small children’s rights charity, Article … Read more