A small but important gain

ramsbothamAs the world of politics and political analysis wrings its hands over the American Presidential result a small but vital outcome from our undemocratic House of Lords was mostly ignored for understandable reasons. However this act by their Lordships was a vital step in preventing our Government from removing vital legal protections which previous Parliaments have granted to children whose lives come into the care of the state. Lord Ramsbotham tabled an amendment to the Children’s and Social Work Bill which will prevent ministers from granting Councils the opportunity to ignore children’s legal rights for up to three years. It is clear as I have written before that granting flexibility can allow innovation and we desperately need innovative approaches within all of our public services. However we need a much more robust process for suspending social care rules than simply allowing an individual Government Minister to act in isolation, potentially putting at risk the lives of hundreds of vulnerable children. In recent years the numbers of unelected Ministers seems to have increased. It is vital that any such decisions are taken after consideration and scrutiny, not on a political whim of one person who may have been appointed simply because he or she has made large donations to a Political Party. It is perhaps telling that this change was introduced into the  Bill without any form of public consultation and was criticised by the House of Commons education select committee who argued that improvement in children’s social care was more likely to come from concentrating on the basics, such as reducing social worker caseloads, than through structural reforms.



About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Education, Parliament and Democracy, Youth Issues and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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