The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 were laid before Parliament on 23 April 2020, and came into force the following day. The Regulations make a large number of changes to various children’s social care regulations, affecting areas such as social worker visits, looked after children reviews, independent visitors to children’s homes, processes around adoption, and the procedures by which children in care are placed outside of their local authority area.
The Claimant is a charity which represents children in institutional settings, and has challenged the lawfulness of the Regulations. The High Court has granted permission for the claim to proceed to judicial review on three grounds. These are an alleged failure to consult, an alleged breach of the Padfield principle, and a breach of section 7 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 (whereby the Secretary of State must exercise his functions in accordance with the general object of promoting the welfare of children).
The claim will be heard on 27-28th July.
Khatija Hafesji acts for Article 39 (led by Steve Broach and Jenni Richards QC of 39 Essex Chambers), and is instructed by Oliver Studdert of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.