Children and Social Work Bill to become law within a week

By Neil Puffett

| 25 April 2017

The Children and Social Work Bill is set to receive Royal Assent and become law within a week, the government has said.

Children's minister Edward Timpson said government expects the Children and Social Work Bill to receive Royal Assent shortly. Picture: Parliament TV

Children's minister Edward Timpson said the bill is set to be approved by the Queen prior to parliament dissolving ahead of June's general election.

By law, parliament is dissolved 25 working days before a general election - which will be 00.01am on Wednesday 3 May. Parliament will be "prorogued" a few days before dissolution. At prorogation, all parliamentary business will end but parliament will continue to exist until dissolution.

"We anticipate that the Children and Social Work Bill will receive Royal Assent when Parliament prorogues," said Timpson, speaking in parliament yesterday.

The Children and Social Work Bill will result in a number of significant changes. It will lead to a new system of regulation for social workers, change the factors courts and practitioners consider when making decisions on adoptions, and establish a panel to identify serious child safeguarding cases that require review.

It will also create a "care leavers covenant", setting out the support care leavers are entitled to from councils, and will provide personal advisers to care leavers up to the age of 25.

Meanwhile sex and relationship education (SRE) will be made compulsory in all secondary schools.

Answering a question on the government's timetable for making SRE compulsory, Timpson said: "We will develop the regulations and accompanying statutory guidance and both will be subject to consultation.

"The regulations will then be laid under the affirmative procedure to allow for debate and a vote in parliament."

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