Children and Social Work Bill (HL Bill 57)

A

BILL

[AS AMENDED IN GRAND COMMITTEE]

TO

Make provision about looked after children; to make other provision in
relation to the welfare of children; and to make provision about the regulation
of social workers.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Children

CHAPTER 1 Looked after children

5Corporate parenting principles for English local authorities

1 Corporate parenting principles

(1) A local authority in England must, in carrying out functions in relation to the
children and young people mentioned in subsection (2), have regard to the
need—

(a) 10to act in the best interests, and promote the health and well-being, of
those children and young people;

(b) to encourage those children and young people to express their views,
wishes and feelings;

(c) to take into account the views, wishes and feelings of those children
15and young people;

(d) to help those children and young people gain access to, and make the
best use of, services provided by the local authority and its relevant
partners;

Children and Social Work BillPage 2

(e) to promote high aspirations, and seek to secure the best outcomes, for
those children and young people;

(f) for those children and young people to be safe, and for stability in their
home lives, relationships and education or work;

(g) 5to prepare those children and young people for adulthood and
independent living.

(2) The children and young people mentioned in this subsection are—

(a) children who are looked after by a local authority, within the meaning
given by section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989;

(b) 10relevant children within the meaning given by section 23A(2) of that
Act (certain 16 and 17 year olds who are no longer in care);

(c) persons aged under 25 who are former relevant children within the
meaning given by section 23C(1) of that Act.

(3) In this section

  • 15“local authority in England” means—

    (a)

    a county council in England;

    (b)

    a district council;

    (c)

    a London borough council;

    (d)

    the Common Council of the City of London (in their capacity as
    20a local authority);

    (e)

    the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

    (f)

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

  • 25“relevant partners”, in relation to a local authority, has the meaning given
    by section 10(4) of the Children Act 2004.

(4) A local authority in England must have regard to any guidance given by the
Secretary of State as to the performance of the duty under subsection (1).

Care leavers in England

2 30Local offer for care leavers

(1) A local authority in England must publish information about—

(a) services which the local authority offers for care leavers as a result of its
functions under the Children Act 1989;

(b) other services which the local authority offers that may assist care
35leavers in, or in preparing for, adulthood and independent living.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), services which may assist care leavers in, or
in preparing for, adulthood and independent living include services relating
to—

(a) health and well-being;

(b) 40education and training;

(c) employment;

(d) accommodation;

(e) participation in society.

(3) Where it considers appropriate, a local authority in England must publish
45information about services for care leavers offered by others which the local

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authority has power to offer as a result of its functions under the Children Act
1989.

(4) Information required to be published by a local authority under this section is
to be known as its “local offer for care leavers”.

(5) 5A local authority must update its local offer for care leavers from time to time,
as appropriate.

(6) Before publishing its local offer for care leavers (or any updated version) a local
authority must consult relevant persons about which of the services offered by
the local authority may assist care leavers in, or in preparing for, adulthood
10and independent living.

(7) In this section

  • “care leavers” means—

    (a)

    eligible children within the meaning given by paragraph 19B of
    Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989;

    (b)

    15relevant children within the meaning given by section 23A(2) of
    that Act;

    (c)

    persons aged under 25 who are former relevant children within
    the meaning given by section 23C(1) of that Act;

    (d)

    persons qualifying for advice and assistance within the
    20meaning given by section 24 of that Act;

  • “local authority in England” means—

    (a)

    a county council in England;

    (b)

    a district council;

    (c)

    a London borough council;

    (d)

    25the 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
    Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act
    302009;

  • “relevant persons”, in relation to a local authority, means such care
    leavers and other persons as appear to the local authority to be
    representative of care leavers in its area.

(8) In paragraph 1(2)(a) of Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989 (information to be
35published by a local authority), in paragraph (i), for “, 23B to 23D, 24A and 24B”
substitute “and 23D”.

(9) In section 30 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (local offer for children and
young people who have special educational needs or a disability), for “local
offer”, in each place it occurs (including the title), substitute “SEN and
40disability local offer”.

3 Advice and support on request

(1) The Children Act 1989 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 23CZA insert—

23CZB England: further advice and support on request

(1) 45This section applies to a former relevant child if—

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(a) he or she has reached the age of 21 but not the age of 25, and

(b) a local authority in England had duties towards him or her
under section 23C (whether or not some of those duties
continue to subsist by virtue of subsection (7) of that section).

(2) 5If the former relevant child requests advice and support under this
section, the local authority has the following duties.

(3) The local authority must provide the former relevant child with a
personal adviser until the former relevant child—

(a) reaches the age of 25, or

(b) 10if earlier, informs the local authority that he or she no longer
wants a personal adviser.

(4) The local authority must—

(a) carry out an assessment in relation to the former relevant child
under subsection (5), and

(b) 15prepare a pathway plan for the former relevant child.

(5) An assessment under this subsection is an assessment of the needs of
the former relevant child with a view to determining—

(a) whether any services offered by the local authority (under this
Act or otherwise) may assist in meeting his or her needs, and

(b) 20if so, what advice and support it would be appropriate for the
local authority to provide for the purpose of helping the former
relevant child to obtain those services.

(6) The local authority must provide the former relevant child with advice
and support that it would be appropriate to provide as mentioned in
25subsection (5)(b).

(7) A local authority in England must take steps to inform a former
relevant child—

(a) of any right that the former relevant child has to make a request
to the local authority under subsection (2), and

(b) 30of the effect of making a request.

(8) In this section “former relevant child” has the meaning given by section
23C(1).”

(3) In section 23CA (further assistance to pursue education or training) for
subsection (2) substitute—

(2) 35It is the duty of the responsible local authority to provide a personal
adviser for a person to whom this section applies.”

(4) In section 23D (personal advisers) after subsection (2) insert—

(3) Where a local authority in England ceases to be under a duty to provide
a personal adviser for a person under any provision of this Part, that
40does not affect any other duty under this Part to provide a personal
adviser for the person.

(4) Where a local authority in England has more than one duty under this
Part to provide a personal adviser for a person, each duty is discharged
by the provision of the same personal adviser (the local authority are
45not required to provide more than one personal adviser for the
person).”

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(5) Section 23E (pathway plans) is amended as follows.

(6) In subsection (1) (contents of pathway plan), after paragraph (a) (but before the
“and” at the end) insert—

(aa) in the case of a plan prepared under section 23CZB, the advice
5and support that the local authority intend to provide;”

(7) After subsection (1) insert—

(1ZA) A local authority may carry out an assessment under section 23CZB(5)
of a person’s needs at the same time as any assessment of the person’s
needs is made under section 23CA(3).”

(8) 10In subsection (1A) (statutory assessments that may be carried out at the same
time as assessment relating to a pathway plan) after “23B(3)” insert “,
23CZB(5)”.

(9) In subsection (1B) (regulations about assessments) after “23B(3)” insert “,
23CZB(5)”.

(10) 15In subsection (1D) (pathway plans to be kept under review) after “23B” insert
“, 23CZB”.

Educational achievement in England

4 Duty of local authority in relation to previously looked after children

Before section 23ZA of the Children Act 1989 (and the italic heading before it)
20insert—

“Educational achievement of previously looked after children
23ZZA Information and advice for promoting educational achievement

(1) A local authority in England must make advice and information
available in accordance with this section for the purpose of promoting
25the educational achievement of each relevant child educated in their
area.

(2) The advice and information must be made available to—

(a) the child’s parents,

(b) the member of staff at the child’s school designated under
30section 20A of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 or by
virtue of section 2E of the Academies Act 2010, and

(c) any other person that the local authority consider appropriate.

(3) A local authority in England may do anything else that they consider
appropriate with a view to promoting the educational achievement of
35relevant children educated in their area.

(4) A local authority in England must appoint at least one person for the
purpose of discharging the duty imposed by subsection (1).

(5) The person appointed for that purpose must be an officer employed by
the authority or another local authority in England.

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(6) In this section “relevant child” means a child who has previously been
looked after by the local authority or another local authority but has
ceased to be so looked after as a result of—

(a) a child arrangements order which includes arrangements
5relating to—

(i) with whom the child is to live, or

(ii) when the child is to live with any person,

(b) a special guardianship order, or

(c) an adoption order within the meaning given by section 46(1) of
10the Adoption and Children Act 2002.

(7) For the purposes of this section a child is educated in a local authority’s
area if—

(a) the child is receiving early years provision secured by the local
authority under section 7(1) of the Childcare Act 2006, or

(b) 15the child is of compulsory school age and—

(i) the child attends a school in the local authority’s area, or

(ii) if the child does not attend school, the child receives all
or most of his or her education in the local authority’s
area.”

5 20Maintained schools: staff member for previously looked after pupils

After section 20 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 insert—

20A Designated staff member for previously looked after pupils

(1) The governing body of a maintained school in England must—

(a) designate a member of the staff at the school (the “designated
25person”) as having responsibility for promoting the educational
achievement of registered pupils within subsection (2), and

(b) ensure that the designated person undertakes appropriate
training and has regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary
of State.

(2) 30A registered pupil is within this subsection if the pupil was looked after
by a local authority but has ceased to be looked after by them as a result
of—

(a) a child arrangements order (within the meaning given by
section 8(1) of the 1989 Act) which includes arrangements
35relating to—

(i) with whom the child is to live, or

(ii) when the child is to live with any person,

(b) a special guardianship order (within the meaning given by
section 14A(1) of the 1989 Act), or

(c) 40an adoption order (within the meaning given by section 46(1) of
the Adoption and Children Act 2002).

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations require the governing body
of a maintained school in England to ensure that the designated person
has qualifications or experience (or both) prescribed by the regulations.

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(4) In exercising its functions under this section the governing body of a
maintained school in England must have regard to any guidance issued
by the Secretary of State.

(5) For the purposes of this section a person is “looked after” by a local
5authority if the person is looked after by a local authority for the
purposes of the 1989 Act.

(6) In this section—

  • “maintained school” has the meaning given by section 39(1) of the
    Education Act 2002;

  • 10“registered pupil” has the meaning given by section 434(5) of the
    Education Act 1996.”

6 Academies: staff member for looked after and previously looked after pupils

(1) After section 2D of the Academies Act 2010 insert—

2E Provision about staff member for looked after and previously looked
15after pupils

(1) An Academy agreement must include provision requiring the
proprietor of the Academy—

(a) to designate a member of staff at the Academy (the “designated
person”) as having responsibility for promoting the educational
20achievement of relevant pupils at the Academy,

(b) to ensure that the designated person undertakes appropriate
training and has regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary
of State, and

(c) in complying with provision included in the agreement by
25virtue of paragraph (a) or (b), to have regard to any guidance
issued by the Secretary of State.

(2) An Academy agreement made before the day on which section 6 of the
Children and Social Work Act 2016 (which inserts this section) comes
fully into force is to be treated as if it included the provision required
30by subsection (1).

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations—

(a) require an Academy agreement to include provision requiring
the proprietor of the Academy—

(i) to ensure that a designated person has qualifications or
35experience (or both) prescribed by the regulations, and

(ii) in complying with provision included in the agreement
by virtue of sub-paragraph (i), to have regard to any
guidance issued by the Secretary of State;

(b) provide that an Academy agreement made before the day on
40which the regulations come into force is to be treated as if it
included any provision required under paragraph (a).

(4) In this section—

  • “pupil”—

    (a)

    in relation to an Academy school or an alternative
    45provision Academy, means a registered pupil at the
    Academy;

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    (b)

    in relation to a 16 to 19 Academy, means a person
    receiving education at the Academy;

  • “relevant pupil”, in relation to Academy, means a pupil at the
    Academy who—

    (a)

    5is looked after by a local authority, or

    (b)

    was looked after by a local authority but has ceased to be
    so looked after as a result of a relevant order;

  • “relevant order” means—

    (a)

    a child arrangements order (within the meaning given
    10by section 8(1) of the Children Act 1989) which includes
    arrangements relating to—

    (i)

    with whom a child is to live, or

    (ii)

    when a child is to live with any person,

    (b)

    a special guardianship order (within the meaning given
    15by section 14A(1) of the Children Act 1989), or

    (c)

    an adoption order (within the meaning given by section
    46(1) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002).

(5) For the purposes of this section a person is “looked after” by a local
authority if the person is looked after by a local authority for the
20purposes of the Children Act 1989.

(6) For the purposes of section 569 of EA 1996 (as applied by section 17(4)),
regulations under subsection (3)(b) are to be treated as if the statutory
instrument containing them fell within subsection (2A) of that section
(regulations subject to affirmative procedure).”

(2) 25After section 2 of that Act insert—

“Provision to be included in Academy agreements”.

Maintained schools: guidance for staff member for looked after pupils

In section 20 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 (designated staff
member for looked after pupils) after subsection (2) insert—

(2A) 30If the school is in England, the governing body must ensure that the
designated person has regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary
of State.”

Care and adoption proceedings in England and Wales

8 Care orders: permanence provisions

35In section 31 of the Children Act 1989 (care and supervision orders), for
subsection (3B) substitute—

(3B) For the purposes of subsection (3A), the permanence provisions of a
section 31A plan are—

(a) such of the plan’s provisions setting out the long-term plan for
40the upbringing of the child concerned as provide for any of the
following—

(i) the child to live with any parent of the child’s or with
any other member of, or any friend of, the child’s family;

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(ii) adoption;

(iii) long-term care not within sub-paragraph (i) or (ii);

(b) such of the plan’s provisions as set out any of the following—

(i) the impact on the child concerned of any harm that he or
5she suffered or was likely to suffer;

(ii) the current and future needs of the child (including
needs arising out of that impact);

(iii) the way in which the long-term plan for the upbringing
of the child would meet those current and future needs.”

9 10Adoption: duty to have regard to relationship with adopters

(1) Section 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (matters to which court is to
have regard in coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child) is
amended as follows.

(2) After subsection (7) insert—

(7A) 15For the purposes of this section as it applies in relation to a decision by
a court, or by an adoption agency in England—

(a) references to relationships are not confined to legal
relationships,

(b) references to a relative, in relation to a child, include—

(i) 20the child’s mother and father, and

(ii) any person who is a prospective adopter with whom the
child is placed.

(7B) In this section “adoption agency in England” means an adoption
agency that is—

(a) 25a local authority in England, or

(b) a registered adoption society whose principal office is in
England.”

(3) In subsection (8) (meaning of “relative” etc), in the words before paragraph (a),
after “section” insert “as it applies in relation to a decision by an adoption
30agency in Wales”.

CHAPTER 2 Other provision relating to children in England

Combined authority functions relating to children

10 Power to secure proper performance

(1) 35In section 50 of the Children Act 2004 (powers of the Secretary of State to secure
proper performance etc), after subsection (6) insert—

(7) If any functions of a local authority in England which are specified in
subsection (2) are exercisable by a combined authority by virtue of
section 105 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and
40Construction Act 2009—