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Court to investigate claims that councils failed in their foster duties

A judicial review will examine whether three top-tier councils are failing to comply with their legal duties by favouring in-house foster placements over those offered through voluntary sector providers.

The Administrative Court has recently given the green light to proceed with the review after an application by the Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers (NAFP), an umbrella organisation for independent and voluntary sector fostering providers.

NAFP is challenging the compliance of Bristol City Council, Leeds City Council and Suffolk County Council – though their concern extends to “many local authorities” – to liabilities included in the Children Act 1989.

The organisation does not believe the councils are fulfilling their “fundamentally important” responsibility to place looked-after children in the “most appropriate placement available”, instead just placing them on in-house placements.

Harvey Gallagher, chief executive of NAFP, said: “We want to ensure that every child in care gets not just a good placement, but the placement that is right for them, the placement that can best meet their needs more than any other.

“Our concern is that the current placement finding processes used by many local authorities is unlawful and means that children will be missing out and may not get the very best home we can offer them.

“This has to change so that we are able to do better for children in care and give them the best possible opportunity to thrive in a loving home.”

They believe that councils must adopt a “level playing field approach” where all placements are equally considered to best meet the needs of vulnerable children.

The claim will be reviewed in a two-day hearing in early November.


Kim   10/08/2015 at 12:39

interesting! worth fidnign out more?

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