Children in the Care System: Sibling Contact

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:28 pm on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 7:28 pm, 4th March 2020

Just let me finish this sentence, if I may, as it will bring me to what I think the hon. Member wants me to say about what we are going to do next.

Section 34(2) enables a court to make a contact order between a child in care and any named person. This may of course include any siblings, whether or not they are also in the care system. As the hon. Member rightly said, during the passage of the Children and Social Work Bill in 2017, we committed to updating the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010. This would make explicit reference to contact with siblings who are not looked after, as well as those who are. We have begun an internal review of the regulations, and I am pleased to confirm to her, within my first few weeks in this job, that we intend to update the regulations before the end of this year, alongside implementing the Government’s response to the current consultation on unregulated provision.