Foster care system examined

23 February 2017

The Education Committee hears from foster care providers and representatives of organisations involved in the care of looked after children in its second evidence session as part of its inquiry into fostering. Organisations represented include the National Fostering Agency, British Association of Social Workers, Local Government Association, and the GMB Union.


Wednesday 1 March 2017, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 9.30am

  • Iain Anderson, Representative, Children's Services Development Group and Group Chief Executive, National Fostering Agency
  • Harvey Gallagher, Chief Executive, Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers
  • Andrew Ireland, Corporate Director for Social Care, Health and Wellbeing and statutory Director of Children's Services, Kent County Council

At 10.30am

  • Ruth Allen, Chief Executive Officer, British Association of Social Workers
  • Jon Fayle, Vice Chair, National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers
  • Rachel Harrison, Lead Officer for Schools and Foster Carers, GMB Union
  • Dave Hill, President, Association of Directors of Children's Services
  • Councillor Richard Watts, Chair of the Children and Young People Board, Local Government Association

Purpose of the session

The session seeks to investigate how well the foster care system is currently functioning, looking at issues such the current relationships between local authorities and independent foster care providers, how the commissioning process is working, and how they are facing the challenges presented by recent changes to foster care and concerns over capacity and recruitment.

The Committee also examines how foster care is interacting with other elements of the care system, and discusses issues around status, training and recent changes and challenges.

This follows the first session of this inquiry, held on 1 February 2017, where the Committee heard from foster carers and organisations including The Fostering Network and Become. 

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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