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Professor Ray Jones and senior social work academics battle against the privatisation of child protection

Professor Ray JonesProfessor Ray Jones from the School of Social Work and Social Care was the leading author of a letter to The Guardian signed by 37 senior social work academics and which expressed concern about the Government’s plans to open up all children’s socials services, except adoption, to be provided by ‘third parties’. If the Governments plans were to come to fruition this would mean that child protection investigations, the assessment of risk to children, and the decision to seek a court order to remove children from families, could be contracted to companies such as G4S, Serco and Atos.

The letter written to The Guardian articulates the academic’s concerns over child protection becoming the responsibility of profit-driven organisations on behalf of owners, with owners tending to be money driven equity-holders, shareholders and international venture capitalists. Furthermore, the letter also stresses that these are companies who have previously been awarded contracts by the Government and have breached its terms by falling short of their agreements.

The pending privatisation of child protection services was featured on the Guardian’s front-page story. This was then followed up by other media coverage including Professor Ray Jones’s live extensive interviews on BBC Radio Four’s Today programmes, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC News Channel, BBC Cornwall and BBC West Midlands. In addition, there also extensive coverage across print, radio and television media.baby_p_book_cover

Professor Ray Jones is an avid supporter of child protection. He spends two days a week overseeing child protection improvement in areas of England rated by Ofsted. He has also authored a book on ‘The Story of Baby P: Setting the Record Straight’, published by Policy Press.