To: Rt Hon Justine Greening MP

Protect the rights of vulnerable children and care leavers

UPDATE: 03/03/17
We Won!
The government is set to scrap plans to allow councils to apply for exemptions from social care legislation in the face of continuing opposition:
http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/2003279/exclusive-government-set-to-drop-controversial-exemption-clause

Previously we also won a battle to get this rejected in the Lords. Peers voted 245/213 in favour of dropping these terrible proposals. This petition signed by over 100,000 people was named twice in that debate!

Congratulations everyone!

Thank you for helping to get rid of this massive threat to children’s rights!

Protect the rights of vulnerable children and care leavers

Please don’t let councils be excused from their legal duties to vulnerable children and care leavers.

Why is this important?

Parts of the Children and Social Work Bill allowed councils in England to be excused from their legal duties to provide for and protect vulnerable children and young people for up to six years. These protections have built up over 80 years and include many key laws passed by Parliament. They give vital rights to children living in their own families, including disabled children and young carers; children living in foster care, children’s homes, residential schools and custody; and young people leaving care.

On 8 November, the House of Lords voted to remove these parts of the Bill (the Government was defeated by 245 votes to 213). Our petition was mentioned twice in the debate. The Government then tabled amendments and used its majority in the House of Commons Committee to reinstate the clauses on 10 January.

The Committee had issued a call for evidence in December. 47 organisations and individuals submitted evidence; only one supported the clauses (44 opposed and 2 more expressed concern).

Seven parts of two Acts of Parliament were saved from opt-out in January (the Government selected these as 'core legal duties'). However, this leaves at risk every other legal protection for vulnerable children and young people.

The Government says the exemption clauses will encourage innovation, but we fear the loss of essential services and support for children and care leavers by cash-strapped councils.

There has been no public consultation and no evidence produced by the Government to support its plan to offer up for abolition virtually every legal duty made for vulnerable children and care leavers since 1933.


Reasons for signing

  • This is extremely important for those who are vulnerable
  • How much morally lower can this Con Gov go than to discriminate against vulnerable children? Unfortunately they will probably think of something that others consider to be unthinkable.
  • There's no-one else to look after these children if the councils are not legally bound to do so. Schools do a brilliant job in protecting vulnerable children but they do not have any legal powers to prosecute or remove children.

Updates

2017-03-11 14:31:31 +0000

We won!

On 7 March 2017, the Government supported amendments tabled by the Shadow Children's Minister, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, to delete the clauses in the Children and Social Work Bill that gravely threatened children's legal protection. By that time, 53 organisations were opposing the clauses through the Together for Children campaign (see here: https://togetherforchildren.wordpress.com).

THANK YOU for all of your support. This campaign success shows the power of standing together to protect the rights of vulnerable children and young people.

If you are interested in promoting and protecting children's rights in institutional settings, come visit us at www.article39.org.uk.

2016-11-29 16:47:08 +0000
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Petition is successful with 106,518 signatures

2016-11-20 14:23:28 +0000
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Petition is successful with 106,457 signatures

2016-11-17 20:41:14 +0000
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Petition is successful with 106,436 signatures

2016-11-16 17:08:11 +0000
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Petition is successful with 106,418 signatures

2016-11-11 13:06:58 +0000
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Petition is successful with 106,283 signatures

2016-11-08 18:15:24 +0000
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Petition is successful with 104,891 signatures

2016-10-28 00:20:50 +0100

100,000 signatures reached

2016-10-17 22:00:20 +0100

50,000 signatures reached

2016-10-17 19:19:08 +0100

20,000 signatures reached

2016-10-17 18:27:59 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2016-10-17 17:51:15 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2016-10-17 15:45:33 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-10-16 10:10:16 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-10-15 07:35:22 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-10-14 22:15:47 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-10-14 21:01:33 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-10-14 20:43:39 +0100

10 signatures reached