To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the provisions in the Children's Act 2004 to ensure the safety of children who are privately fostered.
The new measures in the Children Act 2004 and the Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005, strengthened the private fostering notification scheme which was introduced under the Children Act 1989. These measures came into effect in July 2005. The Government have agreed that, at a suitable point during the lifetime of the new provisions, they will publish a report on the impact of the new measures in the Act, including an indication of whether the Government are minded to move towards a registration scheme. Sections 45 and 47 of the Children Act 2004 make provisions which allow the Government to introduce a registration scheme in England at any point within four years of the Act receiving Royal Assent. The report will therefore be prepared and published in time for Parliament to consider the matter by November 2008.