Department of Education reveals plans to privatise vital child protection services
Campaigners hit out at plans to let profit-making groups take responsibility for vital children’s social services
Private security giants such as G4S and Serco could be put in charge of child protection services under new proposals drawn up by the government.
In papers published by the Department of Education last month, the government is proposing to permit outsourcing of children’s social services in England to ease the burden on local authorities.
They say the plans will allow authorities to “stimulate new approaches to securing improvements” and “harness third-party expertise”.
Campaigners have voiced strong opposition to the plans, which they say could distort decisions on sensitive family matters.
G4S is currently being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for “serious issues” in connection with “invoicing, delivery and performance reporting” on contracts worth almost £4 billion as well as overcharging taxpayer for botched tagging contracts.
The firm suffered severe damage to its reputation after its failure to fulfil its contract to provide enough security staff for the 2012 London Olympics, forcing the Government to draft in members of the armed forces at short notice.
Professor Eileen Munro, who carried out an independent review of child protection for Michael Gove in 2011, said the proposals were “a bad idea”.
“It’s the state’s responsibility to protect people from maltreatment. It should not be delegated to a profit-making organisation,” she said.