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Children in Care

Education written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education who is legally responsible for the actions of children taken into care and placed with foster parents; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

holding answer 14 July 2011

Legal responsibility for the actions of a child placed with foster carers will depend on the legal status of the child and what the actions concerned are. A child above the age of criminal responsibility could be legally responsible for his or her criminal actions. Broadly speaking the child's foster carer is responsible for the child's day-to-day behaviour by, for example, ensuring that they go to school.

In the case of a voluntarily accommodated child the parent(s) will have parental responsibility. If the child is subject to a care order the local authority will also have parental responsibility.

As corporate parents, we expect local authorities to act as the best possible parent for each child they look after and to advocate on his or her behalf to secure the best possible outcomes. The child's social worker will maintain regular contact with the child and carer to ensure that the child is being appropriately supported.

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