Charity loses legal bid to quash relaxation of children in care duties

Judge criticises DfE failure to consult children’s commissioner before introducing regulations reducing local authority responsibilities, but finds omission was lawful given urgency of pandemic. Justice Lieven also found that the government had erred in describing the legislative changes – which include relaxing safeguards around fostering and adoption processes, statutory visits and reviews – as relatively inconsequential and merely lightening providers’ administrative burdens. “These are not minor matters, they are fundamental parts of a scheme of protecting vulnerable children,” she said. “Each has been introduced over time precisely because of the risks that [children in care] face and the need for safeguards to be in place.”

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