Work and Families Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:31 pm on 25th April 2006.

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Photo of Baroness Walmsley Baroness Walmsley Spokesperson in the Lords (Education & Children), Education & Skills 4:31 pm, 25th April 2006

My Lords, I am right behind the noble Baroness, Lady Morris of Bolton, on this group of amendments. Although concurrency planning is still at an early stage, the evidence is outstanding that it is in the best interests of the child and is highly successful. We need to give it a boost at this early stage. Although we have the interests of employers in mind, the numbers that we are talking about are relatively small and the parents should be considered, as closely as we can, in the same way as birth parents and adoptive parents in order to encourage more people to move along this particular route from fostering into adoption. The idea that such people, who take on this onerous role out of kindness and concern for children, should put their future employment status at risk is quite horrifying. For that reason, I am very firmly behind the amendments, and I hope that the Minister has had an opportunity since Grand Committee to consider this whole issue further and will be able to reassure us that such people will not suffer that sort of disadvantage. Perhaps he may even be encouraged to table amendments himself of the sort that the noble Baroness, Lady Morris of Bolton, has tabled.