Skip to main content

Children in Care

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government has taken to improve the lives of children in care. (198544)

The Government published the “Care Matters” White Paper in June 2007 setting out reforms needed to transform the life chances of children and young people in care, to ensure good parenting from everyone in the system and the centrality of the voice of the child. It built on responses to the Green Paper “Care Matters: Transforming the Lives of Children and Young People in Care”, and the conclusions of four working groups established to investigate best practice in supporting those in care.

Since 2000-01 local authority expenditure on these services has increased from £1.3 billion to just under £2.1 billion in 2005-06, an increase of 57 per cent. In addition, the White Paper announced around £300 million extra funding over four years to support the further improvements needed. A range of legislative changes to support the “Care Matters” reforms are also currently being debated in Parliament as part of the Children and Young Persons Bill.

On 26 March 2008 the Government, Association of Directors of Children’s Services, and Local Government Association published an implementation plan “Care Matters: Time to deliver for children in care”. It encourages systematic planning for service improvement and lists tools, resources and support available to assist local improvement. The implementation plan can be found at:

The process of improvement will be taken forward through a series of regional conferences for those involved in working with looked after looked after children over the spring and summer.