William Eichler 22 December 2017

Committee calls for ‘fundamental review’ of foster system

MPs have called on the Government to carry out a ‘fundamental review’ of the whole foster care system to ensure children and foster parents get the support they need.

The Education Committee has published a report into foster care in the UK which says Whitehall should do more to prevent unnecessary placement breakdowns as children are forced to move from one home to another.

‘The foster care system is under significant pressure and yet this is an area of arguably greatest need,’ said the committee chair Robert Halfon MP.

‘Foster children are some of the most vulnerable young people in our society but many are currently being failed by a care system which doesn’t meet their needs.’

Mr Halfon said children in foster care should not have to face ‘a dizzying number of placements’ and they should not be ‘excluded’ from decisions about their future.

He also insisted efforts needed to be ‘redoubled’ to place children with their siblings.

‘The best gift the Government could give foster children this Christmas is to commit to improving the support they receive to enable them to climb the ladder of opportunity and thrive in their lives ahead,’ said Mr Halfon.

The report also says the Government should increase the number of foster carers in the system and improve working conditions by establishing a national college to support carers.

‘The Government also needs to do more to recognise the valuable service which foster carers provide,’ Mr Halfon said.

‘Establishing a national college would be a welcome step in this direction.’

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