originally by: BBC News
published: 28 July 2012
Some of England’s most vulnerable children may lose out under planned changes to the child protection system, a new campaign group has argued.
The government wants to cut bureaucracy and replace more than 700 pages of guidance with three short documents.
But the group Every Child In Need say the new rules are too vague and risk letting local authorities “do what they want when they want”. Organiser Steve Broach said the changes risked harming vulnerable children.
Mr Broach, a specialist children’s rights barrister, told BBC News: “In a time of cuts to take away minimum standards to vulnerable children and to rely on individual local authorities to get it right every time on their own is dangerous and irresponsible.”
The group is particularly concerned that the relaxing of the rules may lead to delays.
For example, the government proposes removing the requirement for local authorities to prepare an initial assessment of a child’s needs within seven working days of a referral and a more detailed assessment within seven weeks.