This bill is being discussed right now. It aims to privatise child protection services and speed up forced adoptions. Please write to the MPs on the Committee urgently with your objections (list below). See our Model letter below and briefing here.
There are already more than 70,000 children in care, the highest number for 30 years. We must stop more children from poor families being unjustly taken into care away from their mothers and communities. Labour is opposing the privatisation and we hope others will too.
This is a list of the MPs on the Committee to email and/or call. We suggest starting with Labour and the SNP. Let us know what responses you get.
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|Thangam||Debbonairefirstname.lastname@example.org||Lab||020 7219 0974||Bristol West
|Kate||Greenemail@example.com||Lab||020 7219 7162||Stretford & Urmston
0161 749 9120
|Emma||Lewell-Buckfirstname.lastname@example.org||Lab||020 7219 4468||South Shields
|Steve||McCabeemail@example.com||Lab||020 7219 3509||Selly Oak Birmingham
|Tulip||Siddiqfirstname.lastname@example.org||Lab||020 7219 6276||Hampstead & Kilburn|
|Lab||020 7219 4966||Sedgefield
|Stella||Creasyemail@example.com||Lab (Co-op)||020 7219 6980||Walthamstow
|Marion||Fellowsfirstname.lastname@example.org||SNP||020 7219 5784
|Motherwell & Wishaw
|Maria||Caulfieldemail@example.com||Con||020 7219 5946||Lewes
|Suella||Fernandesfirstname.lastname@example.org||Con||020 7219 6504||Fareham
|Simon||Hoareemail@example.com||Con||020 7219 5697||North Dorset|
|Seema||Kennedyfirstname.lastname@example.org||Con||020 7219 4412||S Ribble|
|Anne||Mainemail@example.com||Con||020 7219 8270||St Albans
|Huw||Merrimanfirstname.lastname@example.org||Con||020 7219 8712||Bexhill on Sea & Battle
|Amanda||Millingemail@example.com||Con||020 7219 8356||Cannock Chase|
|Robert||Symsfirstname.lastname@example.org||Con||020 7219 4601||Poole
|Edward||Timpsonemail@example.com||Con||020 7219 8027||Crew
|Michael||Tomlinsonfirstname.lastname@example.org||Con||020 7219 5844||Mid Dorset 7 N Poole|
|Helen||Whatelyemail@example.com||Con||020 7219 6472||Faversham & mid Kent|
use your own experience and the points below to make your case
MODEL LETTER for Children & Social Work Bill in Parliament on Tues 13 Dec
I am (a mother/grandmother/dad/teacher/carer…) writing to raise my grave concerns about the Children and Social Work Bill with you as you are sitting on this Committee.
I am deeply worried about this Bill which aims to privatise child protection – a huge financial incentive for more working class children to be taken into care. Under the Children Act, children and families have the fundamental right to have their feelings and wishes taken into account in decisions that affect them. This is increasingly being ignored in favour of speedy adoptions.
The law says that: “No court should deprive a child of contact unless wholly satisfied that it is in the interests of the child that contact should cease and that is a conclusion at which a court should be extremely slow to arrive.” But instead the number of children in care continues to rise – over 70,000 children are being raised away from their families and communities. This is shocking and not in children’s interest.
Families need urgent help and support so that children can remain with those who love them, not private companies profiteering from breaking up families causing lifelong trauma to both children and their mothers.
The cost of looking after a child in care is estimated at £35,000 a year so we know there is plenty of money for children. Despite recent exposure of multi-national companies like Serco and G4S having to withdraw from providing children’s services because of dangerous and violent practices under their watch, the government is pushing hard for this legislation to be passed. They also know that children who have been in care are four times more likely to attempt suicide and experience mental health problems. If money was made available to support impoverished mothers and families, many fewer children would be taken into care.
This Bill is being debated as the government lowers the benefit cap threatening the survival of tens of thousands of families; 500,000 children may be facing homelessness. Many families are struggling with benefit cuts and sanctions, zero hour contracts, cuts in wages and services, escalating rents and debt. The children in any family experiencing financial and other difficulties are vulnerable to being taken into care and put up for adoption as parents are accused of “neglect” if they are unable to keep a roof over their heads!
We ask MPs to defeat government attempts to privatise children’s services and to demand financial support to keep families together rather than spending millions tearing them apart. We ask MPs to defend children, the mothers and families who love them. There is condemnation of the ongoing trauma inflicted on children who were taken from their mothers in the 50s, 60s and 70s. But the same is happening now and will get much worse with this Bill. We hope that you will represent our concerns by opposing this Bill.
Your name, address etc