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House of Commons Committee calls for better support for foster carers and children in care

Siblings should be placed together where possible, report says

The House of Commons Education Committee concludes in its latest report that children in foster care must be given better information about their placements, placed with their siblings where possible and have access to advocacy services.

The Committee finds the foster care system is under pressure and that the Government needs to conduct a fundamental review of the whole care system to ensure children get the support they need. The report calls on the Government to do more to prevent unnecessary placement breakdowns, increase the number of foster carers in the system and improve working conditions by establishing a national college to support carers.

During the inquiry, the Committee heard from one young person who had been through eight placements in four years, another who had "moved six times in less than no time", while another had lived in thirteen different foster placements and two children's homes in five years. The Committee also heard directly from young people who had faced difficulties in maintaining regular and meaningful contact with siblings and family members.

The Committee is calling on the Department for Education to initiate a national recruitment and awareness campaign to improve capacity in the system. It must also support local authorities and foster care providers in piloting new ways of working, especially through more early intervention and prevention.

The Committee's report makes a range of recommendations relating to valuing young people, valuing foster carers and valuing care.

For the report, click here.