Bishop of Worcester raises need for more family foster care provision

On 8th March 2021 the Bishop of Worcester asked a question he had tabled of Government on teenagers and older children in care.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of provision for teenagers in the care system.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Department for International Trade
(Baroness Berridge) (Con): My Lords, throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the Government have worked closely with local authorities to help ensure that they continue to meet their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in care, with particular regard to their education, health and well-being. Some £4.6 billion of funding has been made available to support councils, with a further £1.55 billion announced as part of the spending review.

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer and for the good work that has been done. However, I am concerned that Barnardo’s declared a state of emergency in June last year as a result of a 44% increase in the number of children needing foster care referred to it. According to one investigation, more than 8,300 children were placed in unregulated, semi-independent accommodation last year. Many of those—more than one-third—were outside their local authority area. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that teenagers and older children in care are offered family-based provision, where they are more likely to thrive?

Bishop of Gloucester and Archbishop of York ask Government about support for looked after and adopted children

On 28th January 2020 the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a question she had tabled to Government, on support for looked after and adopted children. She and the Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, asked follow-up questions and the transcript is below:

Looked-after and Adopted Children
Question

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to review support for children looked after by local authorities and those children who are adopted.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education (Lord Agnew of Oulton) (Con): My Lords, we are committed to undertake a review of the care system. We are already implementing substantial reforms to improve outcomes for this most vulnerable group of children and young people. Alongside the reforms, we are providing councils with an additional £1 billion for adult and children’s social care in every year of this ​Parliament. The review will allow us to go further in ensuring that children and young people have the support that they need. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester and Archbishop of York ask Government about support for looked after and adopted children”

Bishop of Rochester asks Government about children of prisoners, improving fostering and adoption

17.10 Rochester3On 9th January 2020, Baroness Massey of Darwen asked the Government, “following their ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, what plans they have to promote children’s rights and well-being across government departments in this Parliament”. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I have two particular groups of children in mind whose well-being is often compromised. The first are those who have a parent or other primary carer on the cusp of going into custody. What plans do Her Majesty’s Government have to ensure that sentencers, including magistrates, are aware of the new guidance from the Sentencing Council on this matter? On looked-after children, what intentions do Her Majesty’s Government have to further promote the vocation—it is a vocation—to become a foster carer or an adopter? Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester asks Government about children of prisoners, improving fostering and adoption”

Bishop of Durham welcomes direction of Government’s Children and Social Work Bill

On 14th June 2016 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke during the Second Reading debate on the Government’s Children and Social Work Bill: 

Bp Durham June 2015 bThe Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I am grateful that in the scheduling I find myself following the noble Earl, Lord Listowel, whose passion and commitment to those in care and care leavers is widely known.

In greeting the main thrust of this Bill in my comments on the gracious Speech, I welcomed the measures to strengthen adoption, and also said:

“We need to ensure that life chances for those in residential or foster care are as good as for all other children”.—[Official Report, 19/5/16; col. 41.]

A focus on long-term life outcomes is likely to lead to better decisions in placing children, including non-consensual adoption, but 75% of looked-after children are fostered, and it is no less important for them and for those in other forms of care that their long-term well-being outweighs any other considerations of economy or convenience. It is regrettable that the Bill has not addressed further issues of fostering and kinship care, as other noble Lords have already noted. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham welcomes direction of Government’s Children and Social Work Bill”

Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about fostering arrangements for child refugees

Bishop of Gloucester 10On 13th June 2016 Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty’s Government “what arrangements are in place to fulfil their decision to welcome unaccompanied child refugees into the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, are the Government working closely with Home for Good, which has several thousand potential foster carers who are willing to assist with welcoming these children at risk? Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about fostering arrangements for child refugees”

Bishop of Leicester speaks about challenges facing young people leaving foster care

“We know that transitioning to adulthood is challenging and demanding for all young people today, but how much more so for care leavers” – Bishop of Leicester, 12/3/15.

On 12th March 2015 the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, spoke in a debate tabled by Baroness Eaton, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to help young care leavers not able to “stay put” in foster care to make a successful transition to independence.”

Leicester Continue reading “Bishop of Leicester speaks about challenges facing young people leaving foster care”