We reported last time that the Children and Social Work Bill had been introduced to parliament which we have been working on during July as well as scrutinising other reports from the Government.
Alongside our joint lobbying work as member of the Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers, we are also pursuing our own amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill to ensure long term foster care is given equal weight in the permanence options set out in clause 8. Currently three quarters of looked after children are fostered, and therefore any change to improve the outcomes for children in care needs to focus on foster care.
So before the summer break we were busy briefing key partners in the House of Lords in support of this amendment. When parliament returns in October the Bill will enter its next stage, and we are finalising our work behind the scenes to ensure that we are as prepared as possible to fight for this change to be adopted then. We may have to take the battle to the House of Commons, where the help of our supporters in writing to their MPs may become appropriate – as ever if you want to be kept up to date on proceedings then join our campaigners email list.
As well as The Children and Social Work Bill, it has also been a busy summer in terms of other strategies emerging from Government. So in June and July we were producing responses to the Care Leavers Strategy, Sir Martin Narey’s Residential Care Review, and Putting Children First (the Government's vision for children in care).
Andrew Walker from our Practice Support team explains about these documents in more detail in his recent blog.
In the midst of all this activity, it will not have escaped your notice that we also have the small matter of a new Prime Minister in Downing Street! It is still too early to say whether an early general election will be held – any decision will probably follow the party conference season in the autumn - but in the meantime we are seeking an early meeting with the civil servants at Number 10 to set out the agenda for foster care from our point of view.
Thank you for your continued interest in our campaigns work. Do please email the campaigns team with any questions.