Defend Children’s Rights in Care: Scrap SI 445

We have joined many other organisations and individuals calling for the regulations introduced under cover of Coronavirus known as SI 445 to be scrapped. Thanks to Article 39 for organising this.

A statutory instrument (No. 445) laid before Parliament on Thursday 23 April 2020 removed vital legal protections and safeguards from children in care. It came into force the next day, Friday 24 April 2020.

Around 100 changes to children’s social care regulations were made. There was no public consultation and no time was allowed for Parliamentary scrutiny and debate.

The changes to 10 sets of regulations are due to expire on 25 September 2020 – though this expiry date has been tied to the Coronavirus Act and can be extended, with no upper time-limit.

An explanatory memorandum published with the statutory instrument states the Department for Education “has consulted informally with the sector who have asked for these changes to be in force as a matter of urgency” due to COVID-19.

We, the undersigned, consider ourselves to be part of the children’s social care sector.

We were not consulted about any of these changes. 

We are calling for:

** The withdrawal of Statutory Instrument 445. 

** Any proposed changes to the law affecting children genuinely connected to COVID-19 to be transparent about the reasons why and subject to open consultation and parliamentary scrutiny. We understand that timescales for these democratic processes may have to be tighter than usual during the current health crisis. 


Article 39

Association of Professors of Social Work


British Association of Social Workers England

The Care Leavers’ Association

The Centre for Outcomes of Care

Children England

Coram Voice

Child Rights International Network (CRIN)


Howard League for Penal Reform

Just for Kids Law

Legal Action for Women, co-ordinators of Support Not Separation Coalition 


National Association for Youth Justice

Nagalro, the Professional Association for Children’s Guardians, Family Court Advisers and Independent Social Workers

National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers (NAIRO)

Napo Family Court Section

National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care

NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service)

Siblings Together

Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, network of single mothers

Social Pedagogy Professional Association

Social Workers Union

Social Workers Without Borders (SWWB)


Youth Access


Adam Wilson
Independent reviewing officer

Prof Sir Al Aynsley-Green
Professor emeritus, University College London

Alan Dapre
Children’s author (care experienced person)

Alex Morton

Alex Musgrove
Team manager, looked after children

Alison Austin
Children’s guardian and independent social worker

Alison Grief QC
Queen’s Counsel specialising in the law relating to children 

Alison Kindred Byrne
Director, fostering agency

Alison Paddle
Independent social worker and therapist; former chair of Nagalro

Dr Amanda Austen
Consultant systemic family psychotherapist

Amanda Boorman
Charity worker, The Open Nest Charity 

Amanda Hewitt
Nursery nurse

Amber Gunay
Social worker

Andrea Haley
Specialist nurse

Andrew Rist
Practice development officer

Dr Andy Bilson
Emeritus professor of social work, School of Social Work, Care and Community, Unversity of Central Lancashire

Angie Regan
Independent social worker

Anita Franklin
Professor of childhood studies, University of Portsmouth

Ann Potter
Senior lecturer (social work)

Ann Way
Independent social worker

Anna Gupta
Professor of social work, Royal Holloway University of London

Anna Mayer
Social worker

Anna Perry
Children panel solicitor 

Annette de la Cour
Independent social worker and lecturer

Anoushka Khan
Clinical psychologist

Dr Barry Mason
Psychotherapy, training and consultation

Ben Feder
Social worker

Brian Jubb

Brid Featherstone
Professor of social work, University of Huddersfield

Carly Waterman
Headteacher, Lodge Park Academy, Corby

Carmen Rampersad
Independent reviewing officer manager

Carol Gregory
Social worker

Caroline Bald
Social work lecturer, University of Essex 

Dr Caroline Barratt
Lecturer, School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Caroline Taylor-Beswick
Development manager, Boingboing

Dame Carolyn Hamilton DBE
Professor emeritus, University of Essex

Carolyn Housman
CEO, CFAB (Children and Families Across Borders)

Carolyn Westwood
Retired health visitor

Cathy Jermey
Named nurse for children in care and care leavers

Charlotte Burck
Honorary consultant systemic psychotherapist, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust

Chris Dingley
Independent social work manager & fostering panel chair

Chris Walsh
Retired social worker

Christian Kerr
Social worker

Dr Christine Cocker
Senior lecturer in social work, University of East Anglia, and qualified social worker

Christopher Hardy
Independent social worker

Dr Claire Baker
Researcher children in care and care leavers

Clare Ferris
Social worker

Coleen George-Lowe
Social worker for looked after children

Revd. Colm Nevard

Corrina Bryant
Social worker

Daniel North
Family & systemic psychotherapist

Darren Wilkins
Independent reviewing officer, independent chair (child protection) and social worker

Dave Fry
Retired social worker

David Jockelson
Child care solicitor

Dr David N Jones
Former President, International Federation of Social Workers

Debbie Brooks
Social care consultant/regulation 44 visitor

Debbie Key
Social worker 

Denise Smalley
Outreach social worker

Diana Evans
Advocacy hub manager

Diana Harris
Independent social worker

Dr Donna Peach
Lecturer in social work and integrated practice, University of Salford

Ed Nixon
Every Child Leaving Care Matters (ECLCM)

Eddie O’Hara
Consultant social worker

Elizabeth Robertson
Lead independent reviewing officer

Ellie Kavner
Consultant family therapist and social worker

Emma Morris
Consultant clinical psychologist

Fay Berry
Independent reviewing officer

Félicity Collier OBE
Former chief executive, BAAF British Association for Adoption and Fostering 

Fiona Mackenzie
Service manager

Ffion Evans
Senior lecturer in social work 

Gary Irwin
Retired team manager

Gary Macey
Quality assurance manager

Gavin Brotherston
Social worker

Gemma Carlin
Occupational therapist

Dame Gillian Pugh
Former chief executive, Coram

Glenn Nash
Looked after children social work team

Hannah Kirkbride
CEO, Career Matters

Hanspeter Dorner
Consultant child & adolescent psychiatrist

Helen Taylor
(Senior) local authority social worker 

Henrietta Delalu
Consultant – social policy and management

Hugh McLaughlin
Professor of social work 

Ian Dickson
Chair of the Conference for Care Experienced People (retired) and children’s rights campaigner

Ian Jones
Lecturer, 30 years in children’s services, current PhD research exploring child welfare considering social pedagogy 

Ian Gould
ECLCM ambassador

Ian Sinclair
Emeritus professor of social work, University of York

Jacki Rothwell
Retired social worker and independent reviewing officer

Jackie Pearce
Children panel solicitor

Dr Jade Johns
Social worker/registered manager 

Jane Booth
Independent chair of the Bradford Children’s Safeguarding Partnership

Jane Daly
Senior social worker

Jane Tunstill
Emeritus professor of social work, Royal Holloway, London University

Professor Janet Boddy
Professor with 30 years experience of research with children and families, particularly in child welfare contexts

Jay Barlow
Napo national co-vice-chair (Cafcass Section)

Jennifer Smith
Senior social worker 

Jenny Humphreys
Participation manager

Dr.h.c. Jenny Molloy (Hackney Child)
Author, adviser, trainer and care leaver

Jill Thorburn
Director, Mind Of My Own

Dr Jim Goddard
Senior lecturer, University of Bradford

Jo Jackson
Retired looked after children nurse

Joanne Winship
Independent reviewing officer

Joe Hanley
Lecturer in social work, Open University

John Ingham
Retired social worker

John Radoux
Residential care worker, child therapist, campaigner 

Jon Fayle
Associate Cafcass officer and co-chair of NAIRO

Joy Bradley
Beanstalk Leadership Associates

Judith Fournel
Independent social work consultant

Judith Timms OBE
Founder and trustee National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS)

Judy Henry
Family therapist

Professor Judy Sebba
Rees Centre, University of Oxford

Julia Pearmain
Independent social work consultant, registered social worker and independent panel chair

Julie Prior
Consultant children’s services; regulation 44 independent person

June Leat
Chair of Parents of traumatised adopted teens organisation

June Thoburn CBE
Emeritus professor of social work, University of East Anglia

Kate Mercer
Head BlackBelt Advocacy training

Kathleen Hudson
Foster carer

Karen Abrams
Social work law lecturer

Karen Corteen
Senior lecturer in criminal justice

Karen Goodman
Independent social worker

Karen Tudor
Independent reviewer

Kate Leonard
Senior lecturer, Royal Holloway, University of London

Kate Wilson
Chair , Centre for Social Work Practice, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, University of Nottingham

Katherine Mautner
Social worker and play therapist

Katie Clarke
Director, Bringing Us Together

Kay Everard
Team manager children’s services 

Keith Bishop
Foster dad & senior lecturer (children, young people & families) at Newman University

Dr Leslie Hicks
Associate professor, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln

Libby Tinworth
Care experienced project co-ordinator 

Dr Lisa Thorne
Clinical psychologist, children in care

Liz Davies
Professor emeritus of social work, London Metropolitan University

Liza Bingley Miller
Social worker

Louise Garner
Children panel solicitor

Lucy Gallagher
Team manger of a child in care team

Lucy Porteous
Teaching fellow in social work

Dr Lynn Brady
Independent advocate

Lys Clark
Student social worker

Dr Maggie Atkinson
Children’s Commissioner for England 2010-2015

Margaret Bell
Retired lecturer, researcher and practitioner in child protection and children’s rights

Mark Rhodes
Regional health safety environmental & quality manager and foster carer

Mark Rudden
Social worker

Mari Lewis
Social worker, children in care service

Dr Marilyn Crawshaw
Honorary fellow, Dept of Social Policy & Social Work, University of York 

Martha Wansbrough
Chief executive and founder, Drive Forward Foundation

Martin Wray
Children panel solicitor 

Mary Ann Edwards
Child care solicitor

Maryanne Hodd
Foster care leaver and independent panel member

Mary O’shaughnessy
Post graduate student 

Maurice Guyer
Secretary, Middlesex Law Society

Mel Nash
Family therapist, child mental health

Michelle Janas
MA social work student

Professor Mike Stein
University of York

Miranda Morgan
Senior fostering social worker 

Miriam de Souza
Child care solicitor

Nerys Hughes
Social worker/manager

Niamh Linnane
Independent advocate

Nicola Chambers
Adoption panel advisor

Nicholas Fairbank
Family law barrister

Nick Barwick
Independent fostering consultant and care leaver

Nikki Herbert
Social worker

Dr Nigel Patrick Thomas
Professor emeritus of childhood and youth, University of Central Lancashire

Nushra Mansuri
Assistant professor in social work

Pam Hibbert OBE

Pat Leeson
Independent reviewing officer and NAIRO trustee

Pat Poyser
Retired social worker

Pat Walton
Independent social work consultant fostering

Paul Smart
Co-chair of NAIRO

Pauline Graham
Foster carer

Pauline Lloyd
Solicitor, Law Society children panel member and assessor

Pauline Wigglesworth
HeadStart programme lead

Peta Malthouse
Retired children panel lawyer

Pete Bentley
Former British Agencies for Adoption & Fostering consultant (Newcastle) and adoption panel chair (North East)

Peter Harris
Childcare solicitor

Priscilla Alderson
Professor emerita, University College London

Rachel Knowles

Rachel Maloney
Independent fostering panel chair

Rachel Mufti
Youth advocate 

Rajkiran Egan
Independent foster panel member

Rashid Iqbal
Children and young persons charity CEO

Ray Jones
Emeritus professor of social work, Kingston University and St George’s, University of London

Raya Tibawi
Retired children’s guardian and Independent social worker

Richard Servian
Chair, British Association of Social Workers UK Policy, Ethics and Human Rights Committee 

Rithenella Gumbs
Children’s social worker (child protection)

Robin Sen
Lecturer in social work, University of Sheffield

Rodney W. Noon
Editor, Seen and Heard

Rosalinde Woodroffe
Social worker

Roslyn Gowers
Independent social worker & practice educator

Roy Grimwood
Retired – former consultant and children’s advocate

Ruth Erskine
Consultant child psychologist and neuropsychologist

Ruth Hawkins
Children panel solicitor

Ruth Scotten
Independent social worker & therapeutic life story practitioner

Sally Wilcock
Children panel solicitor

Sarah Edwards
Independent social worker and regulation 44 visitor

Sarah Holtom
Independent reviewing officer / child protection chair

Sarah Parkes
Social worker 

Sarah Stinton
Independent social worker

Dr Shadi Shahnavaz
Family therapist, Anna Freud Centre 

Shanika Mellor
Consultant psychiatrist

Sharon Goldman
Children’s rights and participation manager

Dr Sharon Pettle
Consultant child and family clinical psychologist & systemic psychotherapist

Shelly Reed
Care leaver/ working for the local authority 

Sheri Kane
Lead nurse for children in care and care leavers

Simon Cardy
Social worker

Sophie Ayers
Social worker

Stacy Millward
Social worker, looked after children

Sue Barker
Retired social work manager 

Sue Thompson
Senior advocate, child psychotherapist / adult counsellor 

Susan Brookman
Independent social worker

Dr Theresa Schwaiger
Clinical psychologist

Tim McArdle
Head of placement & recruitment (fostering)

Tom Everard
Social worker

Victoria Neaves
Foster carer

Vinice Cowell
Social worker

Viv Howorth
Independent social worker and panel chair

Will Calver
Founder and chair of trustees, Isabel’s Voice

Zena Young
Independent fostering panel member, care experienced 

Zoe Martin
Social worker

Children’s Commissioner for England calls for Statutory Instrument 445 to be revoked

“I do not believe that the changes made in these regulations are necessary – except perhaps for some clarifications (in guidance) about contact with children taking place remotely during the lockdown.

Children in care are already vulnerable, and this crisis is placing additional strain on them – as most are not in school, less able to have direct contact with family and other trusted professionals, and facing the challenges of lockdown and anxiety about illness – all on top of the trauma they have already experienced.

If anything, I would expect to see increased protections to ensure their needs are met during this period.

… I would like to see all the regulations revoked, as I do not believe that there is sufficient justification to introduce them.”

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, 30 April 2020

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