Key issues in fostering: capacity, working conditions, and fostering agencies

england

 

 

This [2017] House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at key issues in fostering, including general statistical information, the capacity of the foster care system, working conditions for foster carers and the relationships between fostering providers. In particular, it draws upon evidence taken by the Education Select Committee’s 2016-17 inquiry into fostering.

Summary:-

In terms of the capacity of the foster care system, in 2015-16 some 51,000 of the 70,440 “looked after children” were in local authority foster placements. Issues examined in this paper include the impact of “Staying Put” arrangements for those over 18 years old, increasing numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children, and also foster carers who become special guardians.

The working conditions of foster carers are explored, including their employment status, pay, the impact when allegations are made against a foster carer, and calls for professionalisation of foster carers.

Fostering agencies can either be local authority-run or independent, and there has been competition between agencies to attract foster carers. Some have raised concerns that independent foster agencies can be profit-making, and how such agencies are commissioned by local authorities. The introduction of new trust models for fostering services is also explored.

 

 

Reference:  Armitage, S. (2017). Key issues in fostering: capacity, working conditions, and fostering agencies. CBP/7998. London: HoC Library

 

commentary

  

We particularly like the work of the House of Commons Library which is a research and information service based in the UK Parliament.

The House of Commons Library research service provides MPs and their staff with the impartial briefing and evidence base they need to do their work in scrutinising Government, proposing legislation, and supporting constituents. Every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in these publicly available research briefings is correct at the time of publication. Readers should be aware however that briefings are not necessarily comprehensive, updated or otherwise amended to reflect subsequent changes. They are working documents (albeit) very good ones designed to avail MPs of a working knowledge of a topic area at the time of publication. 

These publications are particularly useful to students and lecturers (and many others) to provide a good working knowledge of a topic area on the date of their publication (or amendment date). They should be referenced in the normal (author, date) way.

 

 

 

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Crown copyright material is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence for public sector information.

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