6. Statement by the Minister for Social Care: Our vision for foster care in Wales

Part of the debate – in the Senedd at 5:44 pm on 14 May 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Julie Morgan Julie Morgan Labour 5:44, 14 May 2024

Thank you very much to the Minister for making this very important statement today during Foster Care Fortnight. I'd also like to start off by putting on record my thanks to all the foster carers, whose impact on children can be transformational.

So, I'll just very briefly touch on a couple of matters. One of the big issues that care-experienced young people have said to me, during the lots of contacts that I've had with them, about foster care is they consistently bring up the issue of not having enough flexibility in their day-to-day life. They raise the issue of not being able to stay away overnight without getting permission from the social worker, which I don't think is actually necessary, but they still have this perception and that's what's happened, and the ability to go to after-school clubs and going out for tea. I wondered if there was anything you could think of that would help make that more flexible. That was one of the issues that the young people brought up. The other issue was the importance of being placed with sisters and brothers and how crucial that was and, again, that is very important to the young people. That was one of their big, important issues. And then, finally—I think Altaf Hussain did raise this—the Step Up Step Down programme piloted in Pembrokeshire. I know that the Welsh Government's ambition is to keep children at home and I wondered if you had any measure of how successful that was and whether you are going to be able to extend it.