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

As the hon. Lady has said, the Government do not have statistics on that, but we are looking at reviewing the regulations and, as I have just said, sharing better practice.

We want children to experience stable care placements and consistent relationships, and we want them to be able to keep in touch with the people who are most important to them. We need to equip social workers with the skills and knowledge to make effective decisions on permanence and the importance of relationships. That is one reason why we have funded the development of continuous professional development resources focused on permanence, and this material is now available to the sector.

Enduring relationships are often what gives us the resilience that we all need when things go wrong, so the importance of maintaining contact with siblings and other trusted individuals cannot be overestimated—I understand that. Contact with siblings is the right thing to do when it is in the best interests of an individual child.

This is the first time I have spoken in a debate as a Minister, so let me reassure the House that I am committed to securing the best possible outcomes for children and young people in care. I look forward to working across the Floor with Members who have such experience to make sure that these children are happy, and are able to have happy, stable and fulfilling lives.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.