Government urged to reject foster care proposals that ‘weaken children’s rights’

A coalition of more than 40 leading children’s organisations and experts has written to government urging it to reject several proposals from a major review of the fostering system, because they would “greatly weaken” legal protections for vulnerable children. The government commissioned fostering stocktake, published last month, makes a total of 36 recommendations, including the establishment of a national register of foster carers and improvements to commissioning. But five recommendations, including allowing councils to drop the independent reviewing officer (IRO) role, have been criticised by the Together for Children coalition, whose members include the British Association of Social Workers England, The Fostering Network and former children’s commissioner for England Dr Maggie Atkinson. In a letter to children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi, the coalition said the five highlighted recommendations should be rejected as they would weaken the legal protection of looked-after children. Read more.