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Concerns raised on government consultation - Changes to the adoption and children regulations: coronavirus (COVID-19)

BASW England comments on open government consultation on whether emergency COVID-linked powers introduced under Statutory Instrument 445 should lapse or be continued after September.

On 17th July  BASW forwarded to members a Government consultation on whether emergency COVID-linked powers introduced under Statutory Instrument 445 should lapse or be continued after September.  

The consultation was in the form of a survey which we encouraged you to complete. 

However we have been alerted by the Children and Families Group of BASW England to serious concerns raised by social work researchers about the structure and some ambiguity in the survey questions.

View a short film clip by Dr Robin Sen, Social worker and member of the BASW England Children and Families Group explains more on what the concerns are.

Key concerns raised by the group are:

  • The consultation should include more open questions to allow a range of views to be expressed.
  • In some of the questions, there is an ambiguity as to what the respondent is agreeing to, and the circumstances in which they are agreeing to flexibilities being used beyond September.  
  • Not all of the potential responses are available, particularly in respect of people who have criticisms of SI445, it does not allow space for respondents to voice that they wish for the SI445 measures should be rescinded.
  • In the preamble, the reasons for extending SI445 does not include reference to the concerns raised about SI445.  BASW England, along with other organisations have asked that it be withdrawn. The changes in SI445 are also under judicial review led by Article 39.

This leads to concerns about the validity of any government response based on the consultation. 

It is of course entirely up to members as to whether they should respond but BASW England is withdrawing its recommendation to its members to complete the survey. 

An alternative is to respond to the open questions but tick the 'neither agree nor disagree' box on the closed questions, using the text boxes to explain why. 

View the consultation Changes to the adoption and children regulations: coronavirus (COVID-19)