Foster Care

House of Lords written question – answered on 14th May 2009.

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Photo of Lord Sheikh Lord Sheikh Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they have taken to reduce the proportion of young people in foster care entering the youth justice system.

Photo of Baroness Morgan of Drefelin Baroness Morgan of Drefelin Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Children, Schools and Families, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children, Young People and Families)

The vast majority of looked after children do not commit offences. However, we recognise that as a group they are more likely to be subject to a final reprimand or warning or convicted of a crime than other children. To support local authorities to prevent looked after children becoming involved in crime, in 2005 the Government funded the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) to produce a handbook for local authorities on reducing offending by looked after children with practical examples setting out how authorities might work with partner agencies to minimise the involvement of looked after children in offending behaviour.

To meet the commitments set out in the Care Matters White Paper and the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 we will be revising guidance to local authorities about how they must carry out their responsibilities towards looked after children. This revised guidance will include information about how we would expect looked after children to be supported and cared for to prevent them getting involved in offending, or, where they have committed offences, to minimise any further reoffending.

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