To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has (a) to promote foster care, with particular reference to advertising campaigns, and (b) to encourage people to become foster carers.
We will be spending £1.5m of the Choice Protects Grant in 2004–05 to develop a number of suggestions from the Green Paper to improve the status, support and training for foster carers. These include the development of a national award and a national helpline.
We have recently produced a Fostering Publicity Pack designed to help local authority fostering teams to run targeted local campaigns to recruit new foster carers for looked after children. We have also announced a three-year grant to support Foster Care Fortnight.