The newly published Children and Families Bill for England provides an opportunity for lobbying on a number of issues relating to foster care and the needs of fostered children, the Fostering Network believes.
The bill, which will enter Parliament in a fortnight, includes no proposals for real change in foster care. However, the Fostering Network, joining together with a range of other children’s charities, will use the bill’s progress through Parliament to highlight key issues affecting foster care. In particular, the charity is focusing on the need for young people to have the statutory right to stay with their foster family well beyond the age of 18.
Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network, said: “Legislation focusing on children and families only comes along every few years. While it’s disappointing that the bill does not explicitly focus on fostered children, we will take every opportunity we can to get MPs and peers to recognise the changes that need to be made, and to use the bill as a way of making foster care better for children and the families that look after them.
“We will also be lobbying hard to try to ensure that the proposed changes in adoption are positive for adopted children and their adoptive families, improving the speed of adoption but not at the expense of finding the right family for each child and ensuring that their birth family relationships – particularly with siblings – are respected and protected.”
The full bill is available on the Department for Education’s website.
To keep up to date with the bill’s progress and get involved with the Fostering Network’s campaigning activity, join our rapid response group.
For media enquiries, contact the media team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7620 6425.