Foster Care

Education written question – answered am ar 6 Ionawr 2014.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education how public sector spending reductions affect his Department’s plans for foster care services.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

In October 2013, the Department for Education published a statistical release which provides a summary of the planned expenditure by local authorities on a range of services relating to schools, education, children and young people’s services for the financial year 2013-14. This shows that, for looked-after children, local authorities were planning to increase spending by £64 million to £3,262 million in 2013-14. This will include funding the 75% of looked-after children who are supported in foster care placements. No specific information on foster care spending is available.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 10 December 2013, Official Report, column 213W, which set out a range of activities the Government is funding to support the recruitment and retention of foster carers.

In addition to those mentioned in my previous response, the Department for Education has:

1. funded research into the make-up of the foster carer work force and the potential to attract a broader range of people into fostering;

2. awarded a two-year contract to FosterTalk to deliver Fosterline, a confidential, free of charge advice service for foster carers;

3. provided almost £10.5 million in 2013-14 to 58 local authority partnerships for the development and roll-out of evidence-based interventions, many of which support foster carers; and

4. awarded £90,000 to a consortia led by Research in Practice to develop training materials for social workers on fostering and adoption.

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