Foster Care

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th January 2015.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to reduce disparities between local authorities in meeting the six-week regulation for visits of children within the first year of a private fostering arrangement.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Regulations made under The Children Act 1989 require local authorities to arrange for a child to be visited within seven working days of a private fostering arrangement becoming known to them. Regulations also require that local authorities must then carry out follow-up visits at least every six weeks in respect of the first year of the private fostering arrangement.

The Department is not taking any proactive steps to reduce the disparity between local authorities in meeting the six-week regulation. Local authority performance and practice are inspected by Ofsted and, where authorities do not comply with their statutory responsibilities, the Secretary of State can, and does, swiftly and robustly intervene.

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