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Volume 887: debated on Tuesday 25 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will list the maximum age which each local authority in England and Wales fixes for persons wishing to become foster-parents; and what is the recommendation of her Department to local authorities in that matter.

I regret that no information is available which would enable me to answer the first part of my hon. Friend's Question. As to the second part, Regulation 17(b)(i) of the Boarding Out of Children Regulations 1955 requires local authorities to have regard to the age of prospective foster-parents in determining their suitability to have charge of a child. The relevance of age in matching prospective foster-parents to a child is best left to local authorities to determine in the light of each child's needs.