More details of proposed GP-style social care practices are expected to be announced today by the government as it unveils the children in care white paper.
Children’s minister Beverley Hughes (pictured) has pledged to pilot the scheme, which would involve contracting out services for looked-after children to independent groups of social workers, despite a mixed response to the idea when it was first raised in the children in care green paper last October.
Campaigners will be particularly interested to see whether the government makes a concrete commitment to extending the leaving care age beyond the current minimum age of 16.
Fostering Network chief executive Robert Tapsfield said he hoped the government would firm up its green paper proposal to allow young people to remain with their foster carers after they are 18. He also said he hoped to see concrete plans in the paper for the registration of foster carers and a “transformation fund” to pay for the changes required in the care system.
There have also been media reports that the white paper will set out plans for more looked-after children to be educated at boarding schools.
In March, Beverley Hughes said that successful implementation of the Care Matters green paper was in part dependent on the comprehensive spending review later this year. “I accept that some of the measures in the green paper will need more resources,” she told delegates at a Community Care conference.