Changes to the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020

Closed 28 Feb 2021

Opened 9 Feb 2021

Feedback updated 9 Mar 2021

We asked

The department sought views on proposals to maintain flexibilities on the timing of medical reports in the foster carer and adopter assessment processes, the use of virtual visits, and the continued suspension of the regular cycle of Ofsted inspections of children’s services providers. The department also asked for views on two proposals relating to adoption; to allow medical reports to be completed by other qualified medical professionals and to remove the requirement for a full medical examination.

You said

The majority of respondents agreed with the proposals to maintain the flexibilities on the timing of medical reports in the foster carer and adopter assessment processes, the use of virtual visits, and the continued suspension of the regular cycle of Ofsted inspections of children’s services providers. On the two proposals relating to adoption; whilst a majority agreed with the proposal to allow medical reports to be completed by other qualified medical professional, there were a greater number who disagreed with the second proposal, to remove the requirement for a full medical examination, and concerns were raised in relation to safeguarding.

We did

The department decided to continue only with plans to extend the existing flexibilities on medical reports (for fostering and adoption), virtual visits and Ofsted inspection cycles, as set out in this document. We have reflected on the responses to the two other proposals to amend adoption regulations and, as safeguarding is an area on which the department places paramount importance, we decided to give this further reflection and are not proceeding with these additional flexibilities at this time.

The department is clear that the flexibilities will only remain in place for as long as they are needed; they will be reviewed in terms of monitoring and in line with the Government roadmap to recovery and there currently are no plans to extend them beyond 30 September 2021.

Overview

We are seeking views on our proposal to extend or amend a limited number of flexibilities within the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No'.2) Regulations 2020, in relation to Medical Reports, Virtual Visits and Ofsted Inspections.

Why we are consulting

The government’s overriding objective in any amendments to the statutory framework is to enable the most effective support and protection to children and their families, by local authorities, local safeguarding partners and regulated services, within the statutory framework.

On 24 April, the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force to provide local authorities (LAs) and children’s social care providers with temporary flexibilities to support them during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In August 2020 we consulted on whether to continue some of the flexibilities in the children’s social care sector that came into effect in April. These were in relation to the stage of the respective approvals process for adopters and foster carers that the medical reports would be needed, virtual visits/contacts and Ofsted inspection intervals. Following the consultation, a further set of regulations were laid. These are due to elapse 31 March 2021.

Given the continued impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are now consulting on a proposal to extend or amend those regulations and we are inviting interested individuals and organisations to comment on our plans.

What happens next

The results of the consultation and the Department's response will be published on GOV.UK in Spring 2021.

Events

  • Children's Social Care Regulations: Public Consultation Event

    From 15 Feb 2021 at 13:00 to 15 Feb 2021 at 14:00

    This event is an opportunity to find out more about the consultation and to ask questions. Children's Social Care Regulations: Public Consultation Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

  • Children's Social Care Regulations: Public Consultation Event

    From 16 Feb 2021 at 13:00 to 16 Feb 2021 at 14:00

    This event is an opportunity to find out more about the consultation and to ask question: Children's Social Care Regulations: Public Consultation Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

  • Children's Social Care Regulations: Public Consultation Event

    From 17 Feb 2021 at 13:00 to 17 Feb 2021 at 14:00

    This event is an opportunity to find out more about the consultation and to ask questions. Children's Social Care Regulations: Public Consultation Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Education
  • Adoption
  • Fostering
  • National Curriculum
  • GCSE subject content
  • GCE AS and A level subject content
  • Early learning and childcare
  • Early years foundation stage
  • Key stage 1
  • Key stage 2
  • Performance tables
  • Accommodation (Looked after children)
  • Advocacy (Looked after children)
  • Care leavers and former looked-after children
  • Financial support (Looked after children)
  • Friends and family care
  • Health and wellbeing (Looked after children)
  • Programmes and initiatives (Looked after children)
  • Short break care
  • Social care standards and guidance
  • Special guardianship
  • Support in education
  • Academy sponsorship
  • Converting to an academy
  • Free Schools, studio schools and University technical colleges
  • Setting up an academy or free school
  • Academies
  • Admissions
  • Establishing maintained schools
  • Governance
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Intervention
  • Planning
  • Pupil data
  • Statutory policies and guidance
  • Travel to school and colleges
  • Keeping children safe in education and other settings
  • Preventing neglect, abuse and exploitation
  • Safeguarding disabled children
  • Social workers' standards
  • Alternative provision
  • Attendance and absence
  • Behaviour and discipline
  • Teachers' standards
  • Training and development
  • Disabled children
  • SEND code of practice
  • Teaching and learning (SEND)
  • Careers guidance
  • Participation of young people in education, employment and training
  • Raising the participation age
  • Adult social care
  • Adult social work
  • Equality
  • All
  • Teacher assessment
  • Primary assessment
  • Accountability