NYAS is extremely happy to hear that the efforts of fellow children’s rights charity, Article 39 to have the Department for Education’s children’s social care  ‘myth busting’ guide withdrawn, have been vindicated.

We were one of 50 organisations, back in 2018, to add our signature to a letter of collective concern regarding the ‘myth busting’ guide, which was published on the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme microsite. The letter expressed deep concern that several parts of the myth-busting guide give rise to the misinterpretation of the statutory framework for England’s care system and could compromise the safeguarding of vulnerable children and young people looked after by local authorities.

We stood in solidarity with Article 39 when it then warned of its intent to seek a judicial review, after Children’s Minister Nadhim Zahawi responded to concerns expressed by stating that the ‘myth-busting’ guide aimed to “help practitioners provide targeted support for children and families”, and did “not seek to change anything in the current statutory framework for children’s social care”.

While it is regrettable that this further action had to be taken before the situation was resolved, NYAS is exceedingly relieved, on behalf of the children and young people that might have been put at risk as a result of the ‘myth-busting’ guide, that the publication has now been withdrawn. We are also pleased to hear assurances from government that any plans to issue a similar document in the future would follow a consultation process to include Article 39, relevant organisations and children and young people who may be directly affected.

At NYAS we will continue to work in partnership with other children’s rights organisations, like Article 39, to ensure that wherever the rights of vulnerable children and young people are threatened, there is a powerful body of advocates seeking to protect them.