A group of academics has said that child protection is far too important to be exposed to the "fickleness and failings" of private sector organisations
Almost 40 senior social services academics, led by professor Ray Jones, of Kingston University, signed a letter published in The Guardian expressing their concern that children's social work services in England, including child protection, could be "opened up to the market and without regulation".
A Department for Education consultation paper published last month says that enabling local authorities to outsource children's social services will encourage innovation and improve outcomes for at-risk youngsters, the Guardian reported.
More top news
Students at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington are overcome with emotion at hearing their classmate was shot dead.
Northwestern Scotland and Northern Ireland face a rain-hit weekend, while the rest of Britain enjoys some bright but generally dry weather.
All this week while reporting, I have been taking photos. They offer powerful portraits of the lives affected by the desperate outbreak.