Westminster Hall Debate on foster care, House of Commons - 14 March 2018

Helping children and young people to fulfil their potential is a key ambition of all councils, but our children’s services are under increasing pressure.


Key messages

  • There are a wide range of care options available for children and different placements will work for different children. Adoption, fostering, kinship care, residential care or special guardianship arrangements can all provide positive outcomes for different children in different circumstances. A significant proportion of children will return to their families after a period in care, and a range of agencies will work with children and their families to help make this possible.
  • Helping children and young people to fulfil their potential is a key ambition of all councils, but our children’s services are under increasing pressure. Facing a funding gap of around £2 billion by 2020, demand for these services has also increased dramatically. On average, 90 children entered care every day last year, which also saw the largest annual increase in care numbers since 2010.
  • The narrative around foster care is too often negative, seeming to suggest it is a second class form of care compared to adoption. This needs to change. Evidence has clearly shown that being in care, particularly for longer periods of time, leads to better educational outcomes than for those children in need who remain outside the care system, largely thanks to the stability and support provided by excellent foster families.

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Westminster Hall Debate on foster care, House of Commons - 14 March 2018