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Children in Care

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his estimate is of (a) the number of children in the care of a local authority who are placed outside that authority’s area and (b) the percentage of such children who are privately fostered; and if he will initiate a formal review of the guidance issued to local authorities on managing such placements. (159103)

[holding answer 18 October 2007]: The number of children looked after who were placed outside their responsible local authority area at 31 March 2007 was 18,400. This represented 31 per cent. of all children looked after on that date. None of them were privately fostered: children who are privately fostered are not ‘looked after’ by local authorities. Through the legislation to implement the “Care Matters” White Paper, we will strengthen the statutory framework so that a local authority may not place a child out of its area unless it is satisfied that such a placement is in the child’s best interests. Statutory guidance for local authorities will be issued to support this.