Professor Kim Holt, Professor of Family Law Northumbria University/Barrister at Trinity Chambers
Professor Nancy Kelly, Professor of Judgment and Decision Making in Social Work, Northumbria University
The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into effect on 24 April 2020 and are not due to expire until 25 September 2020.
These regulations introduce significant changes to children who are in the care of the local authority, and who are amongst the most vulnerable children; often experiencing a range of complex vulnerabilities, as a consequence of their early childhood experiences and separation from their birth family.
These changes are wholly disproportionate to the measures that were required to deal with the issue of contact with children remotely during a global pandemic.
Children who are in the care of the local authority, living away from birth family, and not attending school, are likely to experience increased levels of stress and isolation which is likely to have an impact upon their mental and physical wellbeing. It is during these times that children should be afforded a greater level of protection, and indeed from the authors’ contact with several local authorities in the North East of England, there is evidence of innovative practice taking place despite the challenges faced on the front line of children’s social care.
The full article will be published in the July issue of Family Law.