Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews

Why the Children and Social Work Bill needs to be amended

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 28 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j999
  1. Geoff Debelle, officer for child protection
  1. Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
  1. geoff.debelle{at}

It cannot be assumed that innovative practice is a force for good

Safeguarding vulnerable children is a priority for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. I have therefore been closely following the passage of the Children and Social Work Bill through parliament over the past few months. This bill updates and amends existing children’s social care legislation and aims to “make provision about looked after children, make other provision in relation to the welfare of children, and make provision about the regulation of social workers.”

Currently making its way through the House of Commons, the bill originated in the House of Lords last year, where it was introduced with the controversial Clause 29, which would grant local authorities powers to “test different ways of working.” This clause meant that local authorities could …

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