EnglishCymraeg

NYAS is calling on UK Government to act swiftly to protect the rights of young people during the COVID-19 response. By writing to your MP, we can put pressure on the UK government to withdraw SI 445 and uphold the rights of children and young people. Below we have drafted a letter/email template; you can add to this to make it personal to you.

You can find your MP’s email address here.

For help with drafting your letter, download our hints and tips on how to write to your MP.

NYAS will not stop campaigning to protect the rights of care experienced children and young people during COVID-19.

 

 

Please copy and paste the letter below into an emailand edit the parts in red.

Dear {INSERT YOUR MP NAME},

I am writing to you today because as your constituent I am deeply concerned that recent statutory guidance (SI 445) in England could put vulnerable children at risk by seriously undermining local authorities’ ability to safeguard properly.

I am particularly concerned by this because of the increased risks to young people at this time. NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) has reported that children in care and care leavers are feeling lonely and anxious more often during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number of safeguarding referrals made have been increasing dramatically. {HERE YOU MAY WISH TO ADD WHY YOU HAVE PERSONALLY CHOSEN TO SEND THIS LETTER – e.g. it could be because you are a parent yourself and feel that weakened protections wouldn’t be good enough for your child, or it could be you work with children and are concerned changes have been made with minimal consultation}

Will you call on the government to urgently withdraw the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020?

Will you support the Early Day Motion 422 to annul the regulations?

Many of the changes in SI 445 could put vulnerable children at risk by disrupting local authorities’ ability to safeguard properly. Here are my main concerns:

• The requirement that social workers must visit children living in care in accordance with strict statutory timescales – within once week when they have gone into care, and every six weeks for the year after that – have been relaxed. Now if they are unable to visit within the timescales they must do so as ‘reasonably practicable’ thereafter. This applies even if the visits are done by phone or video call.
• Independent six-month reviews of each child in care during COVID-19 are no longer mandatory.
• Placement plans are no longer mandatory where a child is placed with a family member or relative and any assessment of kinship care’s suitability does now have to take place ‘as soon as is reasonably practicable’ rather than within 10 working days.
• The independent panels which approve foster carers and adoption placements have become optional, removing a layer of scrutiny for these highly important decisions.
• No longer must a nominated officer approve a fostering to adopt placement, instead responsibility exclusively lies with already overstretched local authorities.
• Twice-yearly Ofsted inspections of children’s homes are no longer required.

I strongly support the Children’s Commissioner for England’s calls for the regulations to be revoked.

I would appreciate if you could raise this issue with the relevant Minister in order to protect vulnerable children in our constituency.

Please do keep me informed of any progress made. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

{YOUR NAME}

{YOUR ADDRESS}

 

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Once you’ve written to your MP, let us know on Facebook or Twitter! Feel free to add your own views and tag your MP, or just copy this into your social media:

 

I’ve just written to my MP asking if they will defend children’s rights by calling for Statutory Instrument 445 to be scrapped.

You can write to your MP too using the @NYASServices letter template in this link: www.nyas.net/campaigns/write-to-your-mp-to-protect-rights-during-covid-19/ #ScrapSI445