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Researching Reform

Welcome to another week.

As the government looks set to revamp the social work sector (again), different opinions about the child protection system in the UK are emerging.

Ray Jones, a professor of Social Work at Kingston University recently wrote a piece for The Guardian in which he says that the UK child protection system is praiseworthy and shouldn’t be subject to reform. Ray also claims that the UK has the safest child protection systems in the world.

Two days after Jones’ piece was published, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew Davies, spoke to the BBC and called on the government to instigate a “thorough investigation” into councils, police and health bodies, after authorities failed to act in a case of severe child neglect. The children were discovered after a neighbour called the RSPCA, concerned about the welfare of cats inside the home.

Our question this week, then, is…

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More Councils Using Section 20 Arrangements To Keep Children In Care Illegally

Researching Reform

A damning judgment has revealed that another council is using Section 20 Agreements – which are intended to be voluntary – to force children into care indefinitely. 

Herefordshire county council kept a boy in state care for his whole life without getting the consent of a court, which is required by law. The judge identified 14 other children in the council’s care who had been separated from their parents and placed in care for inappropriate periods of time.

In his judgment, Judge Keehan said he had never before come across a situation in which a council had “so seriously and serially failed to address the needs of the children in its care, and so seriously misused, and indeed abused” its statutory powers.

Unlike Judge Keehan, we have often seen Section 20 Agreements being used illegally, across a number of councils. The practice is so common that in 2015, President of the…

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You Are Invited To, On A Journey With Women Of Iran

Researching Reform

Ahead of International Women’s Day this year, three organisations dedicated to improving women’s rights, child rights and the justice system in Iran, will be hosting an event in London to discuss the state of human rights as they relate to women and girls in Iran today. The event will also celebrate International Women’s Day and the work of the late UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, Asma Jahangir.

The International Coalition Against Violence in Iran (ICAVI), Kayhan Life and Persia Educational Foundation are hosting this event, which is free to attend, on Saturday, 3 March 2018 from 3.30pm-7pm, at Fitzroy House.

The event will feature a distinguished group of panelists including Drewery Dyke, Roya Kashefi, and Richard Ratcliffe, along with special messages from UN Special Rapporteur, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed; and Human Rights Professor, Dr. Naz Ghanea-Hercock.

Researching Reform’s editor is also the managing editor for…

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Cash Strapped Councils Offering Up To £1,000 To Fill “Difficult” Children’s Services Roles.

Researching Reform

As council tax is set to rise in almost every borough across England, local authorities are offering financial incentives to employees who refer friends for adult and children’s social care roles.

Rotherham Council is offering £500 to employees who refer children’s social workers to the council, with the referer getting £250 if the person they put forward is successfully recruited, and a further £250 if the person performs satisfactorily over a six month period.

Offering twice as much as Rotherham, Surrey County Council pledges to give referring employees £1,000 – £500 for the appointment and the remaining £500 if the referee remains in the council’s employment for three months. Interestingly, the lump sums are not tax free. On its page, Surrey County Council refers to the positions as “hard-to-recruit” posts.

It’s an abominable waste of money. Financial incentives have been used for years in the fostering sector, and have…

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