The final two sessions of the Fostering Inquiry, which was suspended earlier this year due to the General Election, have now taken place.
On 17th October, the Committee heard evidence from Fostering Services, Universities, Fostering Organisations and local authorities including Alison Michalska, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, who called for a national, government-led foster carer recruitment campaign to address the shortage of foster carers and the challenges of an aging foster carer population.
On 7th November, young people with experience of foster care joined the Education Committee in questioning the Minister for Children and Families, Robert Goodwill MP, on the current state of fostering in England, and the ongoing fostering stocktake.
Discussion took place around the capacity of the foster care system, issues facing foster carers and how young people feel about their placements and support at school. The young people present were particularly articulate about the need to engage them more fully in the placement planning process and to establish a platform to enable them to engage with such issues as the fostering inquiry and the fostering stocktake.
The Minister was asked about progress of the Fostering stocktake and when this was likely to publish its findings. The Minister confirmed that he expect to receive the draft findings before Christmas and to publish the outcome and the government’s response in the New Year.
To watch the final two sessions of the fostering inquiry visit Parliament TV here.