Labour forces debate on loss of children’s safeguards

Labour will today vote to scrap regulations that substantially weaken legal protections for children in care in England after forcing a debate on this issue.

In April, the Government changed the law without parliamentary scrutiny to remove key safeguards for children in care, including the requirement for six-weekly care visits, regular assessments of care plans and fostering and adoption panels.

The Labour frontbench has forced a debate in the House of Commons today on these regulations, which the Children’s Commissioner for England has said are “not justified” and could put children “at greater risk”, and will vote to annul them. Shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey will lead Labour MPs in calling for the changes to be revoked.

Tulip Siddiq MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years, said:

“It has been over two months since Ministers made sweeping reductions in children’s safeguards, and they have still not produced any reasonable justification for it.

“Labour understands the pressure that councils are under in this pandemic, but it is not an excuse to remove vital protections for children in care. There is no evidence that this bonfire of children’s rights was necessary, and to do so without any opportunity for parliamentary scrutiny or key safeguards was simply unacceptable.

“Today’s debate is an opportunity for the Government to admit that they got this wrong and work with us to help vulnerable children through this crisis.”

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