Queen’s Speech: Looked-after children and adult care reforms

Bills to take forward existing proposals on looked-after children and adult social care regulation were included in a raft of legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech today.

A Children and Young Persons Bill reiterated the pledges of the Care Matters white paper and will give local authorities piloting GP-style social work practices the power to test the model.

The bill also recapped on other white paper measures including placing the role of designated teacher on a statutory footing and ensuring children in care did not move schools in Year 10 and 11 except in exceptional circumstances.

A Health and Social Care Bill reiterated the government’s pledge to create an integrated health and adult social care regulator by merging the Commission for Social Care Inspection, the Healthcare Commission and the Mental Health Act Commission.

Details of these proposals were outlined recently in the government’s response to its consultation on the regulator.

Other bills affecting social care included an Education and Skills Bill, which introduced a duty and power on local authorities to assess education and training needs of young people with special educational needs to the ages of 16-19.

It also outlined duties on young people, local authorities and parents to ensure young people remained in education or training beyond the current statutory leaving age. By 2013, all 17-year-olds will have to participate in some form of education or training, and this will be extended to all 18-year-olds by 2015.

A Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill introduced a new offence of inciting hatred against gay, lesbian, transgender and disabled people. It also pledged to strengthen pre-court and community penalties available for young offenders.

A Housing and Regeneration Bill contained a measure to implement a recent European Court of Human Rights ruling on Gypsies and Travellers.

More help for carers to remain within the workforce was hinted at in a bill on work-life balance including an extended right to request flexible working.

A Dormant Bank and Buildint Society Accounts Bill reiterated a previous pledge to use money lying dormant in bank accounts to fund the provision of youth facilities and places to go for young people in every region.

More information
Queen’s Speech in full

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