Children’s minister Tim Loughton has reassured social workers that he expects “no significant changes” to safeguarding or child protection duties, following the consultation launched by the Department of Communities and Local Government.
His assurances follow outrage last week from the children’s social care sector that Section 47 (regarding the duty to investigate child protection concerns), Section 17 (regarding duties to support children in need) and Section 20 (regarding duties to children in care), were included in the consultation. It is part of a wide-ranging review looking at all statutory duties of local authorities. The DCLG is seeking views on which duties are essential and which could be removed.
Local government secretary Eric Pickles said it was a declaration of war on local authorities’ “barmy rules and regulations”.
Loughton told Community Care today: “Safeguarding just happens to be on a very long list of statutory duties that the DCLG is looking at. There’s a great long list of everything from our department. There is nothing significant about safeguarding being on that list.
“I do not envisage any significant changes in the responsibilities around safeguarding and child protection. If I did, I would not have commissioned Professor Eileen Munro to come up with recommendations for how local authorities can be doing safeguarding better.”
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