‘Fostering information gap puts children and families at risk’

Children in care and foster families are being put at risk because of councils’ failure to provide carers with sufficient information about children placed with them, the Fostering Network warned today.

A UK-wide survey of carers found more than half had looked after a child in the past three years for whom they were not given all the information they needed to care for them safely.

A third had not been told about the child’s medical requirements while almost half had not been informed about their history of abuse.

The poll also found that 36% of foster carers had been expected to look after children they were not approved to foster.

In England, Scotland and Wales there are regulations and standards outlining the information councils must provide to foster carers before a child is placed with them.

However, Fostering Network chief executive Robert Tapsfield warned that these were not being implemented, despite a number of key court rulings on the issue.

He added: “These figures are extremely worrying. The system is clearly failing to provide foster carers with the information and support they need to care for children safely, putting them, their families and the children in their care at risk.”

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