Children and Social Work Bill (HL Bill 1)

Children and Social Work BillPage 10

(a) a reference in this section to a local authority includes a
reference to the combined authority, and

(b) a reference in this section to functions specified in subsection (2)
is, in relation to the combined authority, to be read as a
5reference to those functions so far as exercisable by the
combined authority.”

(2) In section 15 of the Childcare Act 2006 (powers of the Secretary of State to
secure proper performance etc), after subsection (6) insert—

(6A) If any functions of an English local authority under this Part are
10exercisable by a combined authority by virtue of section 105 of the Local
Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009—

(a) a reference in any of subsections (3) to (6) to an English local
authority includes a reference to the combined authority, and

(b) a reference in those subsections to functions under this Part is,
15in relation to the combined authority, to be read as a reference
to those functions so far as exercisable by the combined
authority.”

Serious child safeguarding cases

11 Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel

20In the Children Act 2004, after section 16 insert—

“Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel
16A Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel

(1) The Secretary of State must establish a panel to be known as the Child
Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.

(2) 25The Secretary of State may make any arrangements that the Secretary
of State considers appropriate for the establishment of the Panel in
accordance with this section.

(3) The Panel is to consist of a chair and members appointed by the
Secretary of State.

(4) 30A person may be appointed for a particular period or otherwise.

(5) The Secretary of State may remove the chair or a member of the Panel
if satisfied that the chair or member—

(a) has become unfit or unable to discharge his or her functions
properly, or

(b) 35has behaved in a way that is not compatible with continuing in
office.

(6) The arrangements that may be made by the Secretary of State under
subsection (2) include arrangements about—

(a) the Panel’s proceedings;

(b) 40annual or other reports.

Children and Social Work BillPage 11

(7) The Secretary of State may provide staff, facilities or other assistance to
the Panel (and the arrangements that may be made under this section
include arrangements about those matters).

(8) The Secretary of State may pay remuneration or expenses to the chair
5and members of the Panel.”

12 Functions of the Panel

In the Children Act 2004, after section 16A (inserted by section 11), insert—

16B Functions of the Panel

(1) The functions of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel are, in
10accordance with arrangements made by the Secretary of State—

(a) to identify serious child safeguarding cases in England which
raise issues that are complex or of national importance, and

(b) where they consider it appropriate, to arrange for those cases to
be reviewed under their supervision.

(2) 15The purpose of a review under subsection (1)(b) is to ascertain what (if
any) lessons can be learned from the case about the way in which local
authorities or others should work to safeguard children.

(3) Where the Panel arrange for a case to be reviewed under their
supervision, they must—

(a) 20ensure that the reviewer provides a report on the outcome of the
review;

(b) ensure—

(i) that the reviewer makes satisfactory progress, and

(ii) that the report is of satisfactory quality;

(c) 25provide the report to the Secretary of State.

(4) The Panel must publish the report, unless they consider it
inappropriate to do so.

(5) If the Panel consider it inappropriate to publish the report, they must
publish any information relating to the lessons to be learned from the
30case that they consider it appropriate to publish.

(6) The arrangements under subsection (1) may include arrangements
about—

(a) criteria to be taken into account by the Panel in determining
whether serious child safeguarding cases raise issues that are
35complex or of national importance;

(b) eligibility for appointment as a reviewer;

(c) the selection process for appointment of a reviewer;

(d) the person who is to select a reviewer;

(e) the supervisory powers of the Panel in relation to a reviewer;

(f) 40removal of a reviewer;

(g) payments of remuneration or expenses to a reviewer by the
Secretary of State;

(h) the procedure for a review;

(i) the form and content of a report;

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(j) the time when a report is to be provided to the Secretary of
State, or published.

(7) The Panel must have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of
State in connection with functions conferred by this section.

(8) 5Guidance given by the Secretary of State may include guidance about—

(a) circumstances in which it may be appropriate for a serious child
safeguarding case to be reviewed;

(b) matters to be taken into account in deciding whether a review is
making satisfactory progress or whether a report is of
10satisfactory quality.

(9) In this section—

  • a “reviewer” means any one or more persons appointed to review
    a case on behalf of the Panel;

  • “serious child safeguarding cases” means cases in which—

    (a)

    15abuse or neglect of a child is known or suspected by a
    local authority or another person exercising functions in
    relation to children, and

    (b)

    the child has died or been seriously harmed;

  • “serious harm” includes serious or long-term impairment of
    20mental health or intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural
    development.”

13 Events to be notified to the Panel

In the Children Act 2004, after section 16B (inserted by section 12), insert—

16C Events to be notified to the Panel

(1) 25A local authority in England must notify the Child Safeguarding
Practice Review Panel of any of the following that occur in their area—

(a) the death of a child who is known or suspected by the local
authority to have been abused or neglected;

(b) serious harm to a child who is known or suspected by the local
30authority to have been abused or neglected;

(c) the death of a child who was looked after by a local authority
(within the meaning given by section 22(1) of the Children Act
1989);

(d) the death of a child in a regulated setting.

(2) 35A local authority in England must have regard to any guidance given
by the Secretary of State in connection with their functions under this
section.

(3) In this section—

  • “regulated setting” has the meaning given by regulations to be
    40made by the Secretary of State;

  • “serious harm” has the meaning given by section 16B(9).”

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14 Information

In the Children Act 2004, after section 16C (inserted by section 13), insert—

16D Information

(1) The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel may, for the purpose of
5enabling or assisting the performance of a function conferred by section
16B, request a person or body to provide information specified in the
request to—

(a) the Panel,

(b) a reviewer, or

(c) 10another person or body specified in the request.

(2) The person or body to whom a request under this section is made must
comply with the request.

(3) The information may be used by the Panel, reviewer, or other person or
body to whom it is provided only for the purpose mentioned in
15subsection (1).

(4) In this section “reviewer” means any one or more persons appointed to
review a case on behalf of the Panel.”

Children's social care: different ways of working

15 Power to test different ways of working

(1) 20The purpose of this section is to enable a local authority in England to test
different ways of working with a view to achieving better outcomes under
children’s social care legislation or achieving the same outcomes more
efficiently.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations, for that purpose—

(a) 25exempt a local authority in England from a requirement imposed by
children’s social care legislation;

(b) modify the way in which a requirement imposed by children’s social
care legislation applies in relation to a local authority in England.

(3) The Secretary of State may make regulations under this section relating to a
30local authority in England only if asked to do so by that authority.

(4) Regulations under this section may be made in relation to one or more local
authorities in England.

(5) Regulations under this section may include consequential modifications of
children’s social care legislation.

(6) 35Regulations under this section are subject to the negative resolution procedure
if they only—

(a) relate to requirements imposed by subordinate legislation, or

(b) revoke earlier regulations under this section.

(7) Any other regulations under this section are subject to the affirmative
40resolution procedure.

(8) Subsection (3) does not apply to regulations under this section that only revoke
earlier regulations under this section.

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(9) If regulations under this section are subject to the affirmative resolution
procedure and would, but for this subsection, be treated for the purposes of the
standing orders of either House of Parliament as a hybrid instrument, they are
to proceed in that House as if they were not a hybrid instrument.

16 5Duration

(1) Regulations under section 15 must specify a period at the end of which they
lapse.

(2) The period must not be longer than 3 years beginning with the day on which
the regulations come into force.

(3) 10But the Secretary of State may by further regulations under section 15 amend
the specified period to extend it by up to 3 years.

(4) The specified period may be extended on one occasion only.

(5) Before extending the specified period the Secretary of State must lay a report
before Parliament about the extent to which the regulations have achieved the
15purpose mentioned in section 15(1).

(6) The Secretary of State may by regulations make transitional provision in
connection with the lapsing of regulations under section 15.

17 Consultation

(1) Before asking the Secretary of State to make regulations under section 15 a local
20authority in England must consult such of its Local Safeguarding Children
Board partners as it considers appropriate.

(2) Before making regulations under section 15 the Secretary of State must
consult—

(a) the Children’s Commissioner,

(b) 25Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and
Skills, and

(c) any other person that the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(3) But no consultation is required where the regulations under section 15 only
revoke earlier regulations under that section.

(4) 30The Secretary of State may by regulations amend this section for the purposes
of adding to those who must be consulted by a local authority in England or
the Secretary of State.

(5) Regulations under subsection (4) are subject to the negative resolution
procedure.

18 35Interaction with law about Secretary of State intervening

(1) Where a direction under section 497A(4) or (4A) of the Education Act 1996 as
applied by section 50 of the Children Act 2004 (intervention by Secretary of
State) is made in relation to any functions of a local authority in England—

(a) regulations under section 15 may be made in relation to those functions
40as exercisable by the specified person, and

(b) the regulations may be made so as to apply in relation to the local
authority if the direction ceases to be in force.

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(2) Sections 15(3) and 17(1) do not apply in relation to the making of regulations in
reliance on subsection (1) if the specified person is the Secretary of State.

(3) In relation to the making of regulations in reliance on subsection (1) in a case
where the specified person is not the Secretary of State—

(a) 5the request under section 15(3) must be made by the specified person
(instead of by the local authority);

(b) the consultation under section 17(1) must be performed by the specified
person (instead of by the local authority).

(4) In this section “the specified person” means—

(a) 10in a case where the direction mentioned in subsection (1) was given
under section 497A(4) of the Education Act 1996 as applied, the person
specified in the direction;

(b) in a case where the direction mentioned in subsection (1) was given
under section 497A(4A) of the Education Act 1996 as applied, the
15Secretary of State or the person nominated by the Secretary of State.

(5) In section 50 of the Children Act 2004 (intervention), in subsection (2)—

(a) omit “and” at the end of paragraph (b);

(b) at the end of paragraph (c) insert ; and

(d) any function conferred by regulations under section 15
20of the Children and Social Work Act 2016.”

19 Interpretation of sections 15 to 18

In sections 15 to 18—

  • “children’s social care legislation” means—

    (a)

    any legislation specified in Schedule 1 to the Local Authority
    25Social Services Act 1970 so far as relating to those under the age
    of 18;

    (b)

    sections 23C to 24D of the Children Act 1989, so far as not within
    paragraph (a);

    (c)

    the Children Act 2004, so far as not within paragraph (a);

    (d)

    30any subordinate legislation under the legislation mentioned in
    paragraphs (a) to (c);

  • “local authority in England” means—

    (a)

    a county council in England;

    (b)

    a district council;

    (c)

    35a London Borough council;

    (d)

    the Common Council of the City of London (in their capacity as
    a local authority);

    (e)

    the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

    (f)

    a combined authority established under section 103 of the Local
    40Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act
    2009;

  • “Local Safeguarding Children Board partner”, in relation to a local
    authority in England, means a person listed in section 13(3) of the
    Children Act 2004 in relation to the authority;

  • 45“subordinate legislation” has the same meaning as in the Interpretation
    Act 1978.

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Part 2 Social workers etc in England

CHAPTER 1 Social worker regulations

5Power to regulate social workers

20 Social worker regulations

(1) The Secretary of State may, for the purpose of regulating social workers in
England, make regulations dealing with any of the matters authorised by this
Chapter (“social worker regulations”).

(2) 10Social worker regulations are subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

Core content of social worker regulations

21 The regulator

(1) Social worker regulations may appoint the Secretary of State or another person
to be the regulator of social workers in England (“the regulator”).

(2) 15Social worker regulations may establish a new body to be the regulator.

22 Registration

(1) Social worker regulations may require the regulator to keep—

(a) a register of social workers in England,

(b) a register of people who are undertaking education or training in
20England to become social workers, or

(c) a combined register of the people mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b).

(2) The regulations—

(a) may provide for the appointment of a registrar, and

(b) may make other provision in connection with the keeping of a register.

(3) 25For example, the regulations may make provision about—

(a) eligibility for registration or continued registration;

(b) categories of registration;

(c) the procedure for dealing with registration applications;

(d) expiry and renewal of entries;

(e) 30the content of the register;

(f) duties to provide information to the regulator;

(g) suspension or removal from the register;

(h) restoration of entries;

(i) appeals against decisions in connection with registration;

(j) 35publication of, or access to, the register or information contained in it;

(k) the procedure for considering, investigating or determining fitness to
be or to remain registered (including standards of proof).

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23 Restrictions on practice and protected titles

Social worker regulations may impose prohibitions or restrictions in
connection with—

(a) the carrying out of social work in England;

(b) 5the use of titles or descriptions specified in the regulations;

(c) the holding out of a person as qualified to carry out social work in
England.

24 Professional standards

(1) Social worker regulations may require the regulator or the Secretary of State to
10determine and publish—

(a) professional standards for social workers in England;

(b) standards of conduct or ethics for registered students.

(2) Social worker regulations may make provision about arrangements for
assessing whether a person meets a professional standard relating to
15proficiency.

(3) If the Secretary of State has made regulations under section 39(1)(a) (transfer to
the regulator of functions in connection with approved mental health
professionals), the reference in subsection (1) to professional standards for
social workers in England includes professional standards relating to their
20work as approved mental health professionals.

(4) In this section “professional standards” includes standards relating to—

(a) proficiency;

(b) performance;

(c) conduct and ethics;

(d) 25continuing professional training and development.

25 Education and training

(1) Social worker regulations may require the regulator or the Secretary of State to
determine and publish standards of education or training in England for
people who are or who wish to become social workers.

(2) 30Social worker regulations may make provision for the regulator to operate a
scheme for the accreditation of—

(a) courses of education or training for people who are or who wish to
become social workers in England;

(b) qualifications for people who are or who wish to become social workers
35in England.

(3) The regulations may make provision in connection with the accreditation
scheme.

(4) For example, the regulations may make provision about—

(a) the criteria for accreditation or continued accreditation;

(b) 40the procedure for accreditation or renewal of accreditation;

(c) duties to provide information to the regulator;

(d) the publication of the scheme.

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26 Discipline and fitness to practise

(1) Social worker regulations may make provision about—

(a) discipline of social workers in England or registered students;

(b) fitness to practise as a social worker in England.

(2) 5For example, the regulations may make provision about—

(a) the person by whom decisions about discipline or fitness to practise are
to be taken;

(b) the appointment of assessors, examiners or legal or other advisers;

(c) the circumstances in which disciplinary action may be taken or the
10circumstances in which a person’s fitness to practise is impaired;

(d) the procedure for considering, investigating or determining
disciplinary matters or fitness to practise (including standard of proof);

(e) powers to obtain information;

(f) temporary measures that may be taken against a person pending the
15outcome of an investigation;

(g) sanctions;

(h) appeals against decisions.

27 Advisers

(1) Social worker regulations may—

(a) 20permit or require the regulator to appoint one or more people or panels
of people to advise the regulator on matters relating to its functions,
and

(b) make provision about the functions of people or panels so appointed.

(2) The regulations may make further provision in connection with the
25appointment of a person or panel.

(3) For example, the regulations may make provision about—

(a) payments to be made to those appointed;

(b) staff, facilities or other assistance.

Default powers, information, co-operation etc

28 30Default powers

(1) This section applies where social worker regulations appoint a person other
than the Secretary of State as the regulator.

(2) The regulations may confer power on a specified person to give the regulator
a remedial direction if the regulator—

(a) 35has defaulted in performing any functions and has not remedied the
default, or

(b) is likely to default in performing any function.

(3) The regulations may make further provision about remedial directions and
their enforcement.

(4) 40For example, the regulations may make provision about—

(a) the procedure for determining whether the regulator has defaulted or
is likely to default;

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(b) the procedure for giving remedial directions;

(c) the steps that the specified person may take if the regulator fails to
comply with a remedial direction (which may include doing anything
that the regulator can do);

(d) 5the payment by the regulator of any expenses incurred by the specified
person (including expenses incurred in making payments to anyone
acting on the specified person’s behalf).

29 Publication and sharing of information

Social worker regulations may include provision permitting or requiring the
10regulator to publish or disclose information.

30 Duty to co-operate

Social worker regulations may impose duties on the regulator to co-operate
with others in connection with the regulator’s functions.

31 Transfer schemes

(1) 15Where social worker regulations appoint a new regulator, they may authorise
the Secretary of State to make a scheme for the transfer of property, rights and
liabilities from the old regulator to the new regulator or to another person (a
“transfer scheme”).

(2) “The old regulator” means—

(a) 20in relation to the first exercise of the power to make social worker
regulations appointing a regulator, the Health and Care Professions
Council, and

(b) in relation to any subsequent exercise of the power, the regulator
previously appointed by social worker regulations or a person who
25holds property, rights and liabilities for the purposes of that regulator.

(3) The regulations may provide that a transfer scheme may include provision—

(a) about the transfer of property, rights and liabilities that could not
otherwise be transferred;

(b) about the transfer of property acquired, and rights and liabilities
30arising, after the making of the scheme.

(4) The regulations may provide that a transfer scheme may make consequential,
supplementary, incidental or transitional provision and may—

(a) create rights, or impose liabilities, in relation to property or rights
transferred;

(b) 35make provision about the continuing effect of things done by the old
regulator in respect of anything transferred;

(c) make provision about the continuation of things (including legal
proceedings) in the process of being done by, on behalf of or in relation
to the old regulator in respect of anything transferred;

(d) 40make provision for references to the old regulator in an instrument or
other document in respect of anything transferred to be treated as
references to the transferee;

(e) make provision for the shared ownership or use of property;

(f) if the TUPE regulations do not apply in relation to the transfer, make
45provision which is the same or similar.