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Foster Care

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what guidance his Department provides to social workers regarding foster carers and smacking; (232615)

(2) what guidance his Department has issued to social workers and local authorities on foster carers and smacking.

Regulations require that fostering service providers, including local authorities, must take all reasonable steps to ensure that no form of corporal punishment is used on any child placed with a foster parent. Foster carers must enter into a foster care agreement confirming that they will not administer corporal punishment to a child placed with them.

National minimum standards for fostering services state that fostering service providers should give foster carers clear, written information that corporal punishment is not acceptable and that this includes smacking, slapping, shaking and all other humiliating forms of treatment or punishment.