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Children In Care

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 31 March 2003, Official Report, columns 39–40WS, on children in care, how many and what percentage of female looked-after children (a) had a child, (b) had an abortion and (c) became pregnant in 1998. [107004]

The information requested is not currently collected at national level. Work is under way to establish the feasibility of obtaining information about births among looked-after children, taking account of legal and confidentiality considerations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his written statement of 31 March 2003, Official Report, column 39WS on children in care, if he will make it his policy to apply the targets set for children who have been in care for one year or more to adopted children; and against what targets his Department measures performance in relation to adopted children. [108198]

[holding answer 9 April 2003]: Close monitoring of adoptive placements can be disruptive and could lead to unnecessary stress for children and their adoptive families. It is therefore not the Government's policy to set specific targets on educational attainment for adopted children.The Government's priority is to increase the number of children adopted from care while not compromising the quality and stability of adoptive placements. The most effective measure of performance is to deliver adoptive placements that last and that are properly supported.

However, we recognise that the child's educational needs may need very careful consideration as part of any assessment of the child's adoption support needs.

The Government are committed to improving the current system of adoption support. That is why we will shortly be publishing finalised regulations and guidance for a new national framework for adoption support and backing this with £70 million over the next three years from April 2003.

Government targets to increase the numbers of children adopted from care and speed up the adoption process are included in "Improvement, Expansion and Reform: The Next Three Years Priorities and Planning Framework 2003–2006", copies of which are available in the Library.