Our latest policy and campaign briefings on reforming the child welfare system (including chld protection), policies and practice, including child protection, and our response to consultations by Government and other agencies.
The Government has introduced The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus (Amendment) Regulations 2020 to temporarily relax and amend requirements imposed under children’s services during the coronavirus pandemic.
This Kinship Care Alliance briefing drafted by Family Rights Group sets out extracts from the Department for Education’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for children’s social care services. It summaries concerns about the process to date and tracks proposed amendments with the intention of informing local authority practice and Government thinking, including the next iteration of the guidance. 29 May 2020
This Family Rights Group briefing specifically addresses those changes made in relation to foster for adoption and adoption and sets out our concerns. 6 May 2020
Children and Social Work Bill: House of Commons Report Stage Briefing for Parliamentarians, March 2017. Amendment NC3 Ensuring children in care would have reasonable contact with their siblings (a new clause). This is a joint briefing by Your Family, Your Voice, Kinship Care Alliance, and the Alliance for Women and Girls at Risk (Agenda). It is also endorsed by Action for Children, Article 39, Coram Baaf, Child Poverty Action Group, Family Rights Group, Grandparents Plus, Kinship Carers Project, Kinship Carers UK, Kinship ‘Foster Carers’ Group, Just for Kids Law, Mentor UK, Nagalro, Pace, Pact, Siblings Together, Together Trust.
Children and Social Work Bill: House of Commons Report Stage Briefing for Parliamentarians, February 2017 - Amendment NC7 Ensuring that appropriate counselling and therapeutic support is offered to any parent, who is in care or a care leaver and whose child is permanently removed (a new clause). This is a joint briefing by Your Family, Your Voice, Kinship Care Alliance, and agenda. It is also endorsed by Coram Baaf, Child Poverty Action Group, Family Rights Group, Just for Kids Law, Mentor UK, Pace, Pause, Together Trust, 17th February 2017
Children and Social Work Bill: New Clauses 2-9 – a briefing setting out Family Rights Group’s serious concerns about Government clauses that would give the Secretary of State for Education powers to exempt a local authority from complying with primary child welfare legislation, 10th January 2017
Briefing for Parliamentarians - Second Reading Debate, Children and Social Work Bill. Submitted by Family Rights Group on behalf of Your Family, Your Voice, Kinship Care Alliance, and agenda, 5th December 2016
Family Rights Group’s briefing on Clauses 29-31 of the Children and Social Work Bill, October 2016. Clauses 29-31 of the Bill are intended by the Government to give greater freedoms and flexibilities to individual local authorities to innovate and to trial new ways of working. Whilst we understand the motivation for these clauses, we are extremely concerned about the extensive powers that these clauses give to the Secretary of State, at the request of a local authority, to exempt individual authorities from their duties under primary child welfare legislation and/or regulations. In this briefing, we set out our concerns and proposals for a way forward.
Briefing for Parliamentarians – Report Stage, Children and Social Work Bill. Submitted by Family Rights Group on behalf of Your Family, Your Voice, Kinship Care Alliance, and agenda, October 2016. This briefing focuses exclusively upon four key amendments that we urge parliamentarians to consider at Report Stage in the House of Lords on the 18th October and during the subsequent passage of the Bill in the Commons. These amendments would: (i) enable more children to be raised safely within their wider family network if they can't remain with their parents; (ii) assist more children who are in care to have contact with their siblings; (iii) ensure that all parents have access to independent legal advice where it is proposed their child is placed under foster for adoption with potential adopters who have been approved as foster carers; and (iv) enable any parent whose child has been permanently removed to get therapeutic support and counselling to help them deal with their difficulties and grief and to avoid cycles of recurrent pregnancies and repeat removals of children.
Response to integrated inspection consultation, 10 Sept, 2014. Family Rights Group's response to the integrated inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers and joint inspection of the local safeguarding children board by Ofsted, CQI, HMIC, HMI Probation and HMI Prisons. The response highlights the absence of any reference to children who cannot live with their parents and are being raised in family and friends care (aka kinship care). This is despite there being more children in these circumstances than are being raised in unrelated foster care and the children having faced similar adversities prior to living with their family and friends carers. Our response is endorsed by Action for Prisoners' Families, The Grandparents' Association, Grandparents Plus, NAGALRO, Open Nest and Siblings Together.
Our response to Working Together 2013. Whilst we acknowledge that this is an improved document than the revised guidance published for consultation in 2012, we have serious concerns that much of the good practice guidance about working effectively in partnership with families has gone. We are extremely worried about the implications of this for children and their families, given that this could result in less efforts being made in many localities in effective partnership working with parents.
Our response to the Government’s revised statutory safeguarding guidance, Sept 2012. The response expresses serious concern that if the guidance is published without amendment, it could result in vulnerable children being at greater risk of harm.
Our submission to the Munro review on child protection plus related information on a recent amendment to Dutch child protection law, April 2011
Supporting Children and Families: a policy briefing by the Family Policy Alliance (including Family Rights Group) setting out recommendations that would improve the lives of families of children in need, October 2005