To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to Directors of Children's Services to help them understand their responsibility to provide support services to kinship care families; and what monitoring his Department undertakes to measure the efficiency of those services nationally.
The government issued statutory guidance in 2011 for local authorities about supporting family and friends providing care for children who cannot live with their parents. The guidance makes it clear that children and young people should receive the support that they and their carers need to safeguard and promote their welfare. It explains that support can be provided under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
Local authorities are required to publish a policy setting out their approach to promoting and supporting the needs of all children living with family and friends as carers, regardless of their legal status. The department monitors whether local authorities are meeting this requirement and we have recently written to non-compliant local authorities to remind them of this duty and that the policy should be clear, regularly updated, and made freely and widely available.