In June 2014, it was widely reported that the government had abandoned plans to privatise child protection services. However, these services are still under threat.
When the Department for Education published draft regulations that would have allowed private companies to run children’s social services such as child protection, all hell broke loose. The Guardian ran a front page story, 7 leading social work and child protection professionals co-signed a petitionary letter, and three other petitions gathered more than 70,000 signatures in just a couple of days. An online consultation was held, in which 94% of respondents disagreed with the proposals, and just 2% agreed with the prospect of allowing private companies such as G4S and Serco to profit from the care of vulnerable children. It was a slam dunk for opponents.
The government issued a ‘clarification’ of the regulations shortly after, stating that only charities and not-for-profit orgnanisations would be able to bid to deliver child protection. This in itself was welcome, and would never have happened without the incredible campaigning efforts of all those involved.
However, two significant problems remain