Foster Care

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to expedite the process for fostering a child.

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average length of time was for the process of fostering a child in each constituent part and county of the UK in each of the last three years.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson Minister of State (Education)

As this is a devolved matter we can only provide information for England.

Between 2013 and 2015, the government invested £900,000 to support local authorities and their partners in recruiting and retaining the foster carers they need to ensure that there is a range of placement options available to meet the needs of local looked-after children. In 2013, the government streamlined and strengthened the assessment and approval process for foster carers in England. The government introduced a two-stage process to ensure efficiency and transparency. The expected timeframe for approving a person wishing to become a foster carer is eight months but this can vary depending on individual circumstances.

Information on the average duration of foster placements that ceased in England in the year ending 31 March 2014 is available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption--2 .

Information on the average duration of foster placements that ceased in England in the year ending 31 March 2013 is available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption

Information on the average duration of foster placements that ceased in England in the year ending 31 March 2012 is available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-by-local-authorities-in-england-including-adoption.

Analysis of the average duration of foster placements has not been undertaken below national level.

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