Despite “rapid improvement” in council fostering services over the last 12 months, nearly one in five councils are still failing to meet half of the national minimum standards.
The Commission for Social Care Inspection’s report on the state of social care in England in 2004-5 reveals that, while performance of most council fostering agencies is now good, 27 out of 146 failed to meet half of the required standards last year.
“The overall picture suggests that children’s chances of a good quality placement vary across the country,” the Commission concludes.
It highlights in particular the failure by many councils to provide fostering agencies with accurate and up-to-date information on children’s needs and backgrounds.
“This can result in inappropriate placements being made,” the report warns. “This causes distress to children and foster carers. It also creates problems retaining foster carers.
“In some areas, this is indicative of poor quality, which may be exacerbated by high vacancy rates among social workers.”
The state of social care in England 2004-05 from www.csci.org.uk