Tim Loughton has lost his job as the minister responsible for children’s social care in today’s government reshuffle.
Loughton made the announcement on Twitter, saying he regretted that after seven years as a shadow children’s minister and two years as junior children’s minister, the prime minister had asked him to stand down. He also wished his successor luck, though no announcement has been made on who that will be.
In his time as minister, Loughton vocally championed social work, appointing Professor Eileen Munro to carry out a review on child protection, which made far reaching recommendations to reduce bureaucracy and improve social work practice.
However, while these proved popular with social workers, accompanying proposals to radically slim down the Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance sparked concerns that safeguards for children would be weakened.
Loughton also initiated wide-ranging reforms to the adoption system, designed speed up the process and reduce barriers to people becoming adoptive parents. These have proved controversial with some social workers warning the reforms could lead to more adoption breakdowns.
Loughton also championed greater autonomy for foster carers in looking after children, through the government’s foster carers’ charter.
He has received a number of tributes on Twitter for his time as children’s minister. Loughton “worked hard for children in care”, said the National Association of Fostering Providers, a sentiment echoed by Jonny Hoyle, care leaver and trustee of charity A National Voice.
While Loughton “supported cuts that threaten so many valuable resources”, he “at least made real effort to understand [the] sector,” said Alan Fisher, director of care at fostering charity SFS.
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