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Children: Social Services

Question for Department for Education

UIN 61767, tabled on 25 January 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what consultation she has carried out on the provisions relating to the power to innovate in the Children and Social Work Bill.

Answered on

30 January 2017

The Department has met with a broad range of organisations and individuals regarding the power to test different ways of working, including representatives from the voluntary sector, social work and local government. These meetings informed the changes that were made to the new clauses that were introduced at Committee stage in the House of Commons. We will continue to consult as we develop the detail of the process, which is why we have committed to consult publically on statutory guidance for the power. Every local authority will also be required to undertake consultation about their specific proposal ahead of making an application.

A number of organisations support the inclusion of the power to test different ways of working in the Children and Social Work Bill. For instance, the Children’s Society have said:

“The Children’s Society welcome the Government’s commitment to innovation in children’s social care and are supportive of their intention to allow local authorities to test new ways of working in a time-limited, safe, transparent and well-evaluated way. We are of the view that the government have listened to the concerns raised by the sector and have taken significant steps to ensure that the intention behind the power is clear, and that robust safeguards have been put in place.”

The department also holds supportive statements regarding the power to test different ways of working from the following organisations and individuals.

  • The Local Government Association
  • The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives
  • Professor Eileen Munro;
  • Ofsted;
  • Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England;
  • Barnardo’s
  • Catch-22
  • National IRO Network
  • The Foster Care Associates
  • Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service
  • Achieving for Children
  • Tri-borough
  • Leeds City Council
  • Lincolnshire County Council
  • North Yorkshire County Council
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