Coram Voice renews call for the immediate withdrawal of the Department for Education’s ‘myth busting’ guide

Coram Voice supports the ongoing efforts of our colleagues at Article 39 to have the Department for Education’s ‘myth busting’ guide withdrawn.

The guide published on the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme microsite undermines the protections given to vulnerable children and young people in a number of ways. These include suggesting that local authorities do not have to offer a return home interview to children who have run away, do not have to appoint separate social workers to foster carers and children in long term placements, and reducing the number of visits social workers need to make to children in foster care.

In September 2018 Coram Voice joined with 49 other organisations in writing to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, Minister Nadhim Zahawi requesting that parts of the document be removed as they incorrectly described the statutory framework for England’s care system and risked creating confusion and negatively impacting on the support offered to vulnerable children and young people.

Since then we have supported Article 39’s continuing efforts to have the guidance withdrawn or amended. However to date this erroneous guidance still appears on Department for Education’s website with the Ministers’ position being that the ‘myth busting’ guide does not undermine existing legislation and statutory guidance.

Article 39 have now launched legal action to secure the withdrawal of ‘myth busting’ guide by seeking judicial review at the High Court. Coram Voice hopes that this step will lead to the immediate withdrawal of guidance that undermines important protections for vulnerable children and young people.

Further information:

Joint Letter – Open letter to Nadhim Zahawi MP, Department for Education, 4 September 2018

Article 39 – What’s wrong with the Department for Education’s ‘Children’s social care statutory guidance myth busting document’?

Children & Young People Now – Judicial review launched over DfE ‘myth busting’ guide

BBC – Government faces High Court action over children’s rights

UPDATE 25 March 2019: Success! The Department for Education’s ‘myth busting’ guide has been withdrawn. Read more here – Coram Voice welcomes Department for Education withdrawal of the ‘myth busting’ guide