After months of campaigning to remove clauses from a Bill which would have placed children’s lives at risk if implemented, it looks as if the government has finally decided to drop the exemption clauses from the Children and Social Work Bill.
Fierce opposition to the clauses came from the child protection, child rights and activist movements within the family justice system, which saw members of the Lords, social workers, pressure groups, politicians and charities join forces to stop these clauses from being passed.
The opt out clauses would have allowed councils to forego legal duties and responsibilities towards children, in order to experiment with child protection schemes.
Researching Reform, along with many, many others, campaigned to highlight the very serious concerns these clauses raised, and we’re beyond delighted that these clauses have been scrapped.
Before we can celebrate though, we’ll have to wait for the government to sign off on amendments tabled to have the clauses removed. It’s hoped that formal removal of these clauses will take place on 7th March, 2017, when the Bill reaches Report Stage in the House of Commons.
All that’s left for us to do is say a big congratulations to everyone who fought hard – a fantastic result all round.