Children's directors rally against profit-making in child protection

By Neil Puffett

| 05 June 2014

Child protection services should not be outsourced to organisations intending to make a profit, the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) has said.

The government wants to give local authorities more powers to delegate children's services including child protection. Picture: Morguefile

Responding to the consultation on controversial plans to allow local authorities the power to outsource children's services including child protection, the ADCS said services designed to keep children and young people safe "should not be predicated on a profit motive".

The organisation’s response states that, should the proposals go ahead, there should be further consultation on new regulations and guidance for local authorities and potential providers to ensure a “secure and transparent basis for protecting children” is in place.

The organisation makes a total of ten points, all based on the assumption that further consultation of the underpinning regulations takes place.

In addition to services not being grounded on a “profit motive”, it calls for local authorities to remain accountable for the delivery of children’s social care, and for any external providers to be subject to inspection by Ofsted.

It also calls for local authorities to have the power to provide social care services for children outside its area if chosen to do so by a host authority.

"It is the detail of these [points] that will need to specify the precise nature of accountability for decision making in respect of children and young people,” the response states.

"Without good regulation and guidance there would be a risk to the prime consideration that a child or young person’s needs should always be the principal point in any decision taken about their future life.”

Last week The College of Social Work (TCSW) called for the government consultation on the plans to be extended.

It said the six-week consultation period, which began on 17 April, was “deeply insufficient” to discuss and debate the range of issues at stake.

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