Care Plans (Clause 112) 31A (4)

Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:45 pm on 21 November 2001.

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It would be helpful for emphasis to be given to the fact that it is the local authority as a whole, which has corporate parenting responsibility for a child under a Care Order. All too often this is seen as the responsibility of the social services department alone. Education, especially, can have a key role within care planning. Their involvement may be crucial in ensuring the viability of any placement for a child. This is particularly true of children with additional educational needs but relates to all children within the Looked After system.

The designated (responsible) authority will clearly have primary responsibility for carrying out requirements of any Care Plan. However, in the case of children placed for adoption, special guardianship or fostering, they may be placed across local authority boundaries. It would be most useful to have the respective roles and responsibilities of responsible area authorities clarified within regulations.