Dominic Stevenson, Public Affairs Manager at Become, said in regards to the Government's Fostering Better Outcomes report: “We welcome the Government’s response to the Independent Fostering Review, and are pleased that an emphasis has been placed on encouraging more positive and ‘normal’ relationships between children and young people in care and their foster carers.
“We recognise the importance of guidance that supports foster carers in knowing how best to hug and comfort distressed children and young people in care, and it is our belief that this is what good foster care already is. We also believe that it is right for foster carers to have more delegated authority to make decisions for, and with, the children in their care.
“We hope that local authorities take on board the message that good foster care should be supported. We want them to encourage their social workers to create an environment where all foster carers are treated as vital to the nurturing of a child in care, and where they are allowed to provide good foster care in which relationships can flourish and stability can become the norm.
“We are pleased that the Government has not chosen to remove the role of Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) after no robust case was made for their removal. We believe that this role has a lot to offer local authorities when it comes to supporting children in care, and we look forward to working with IROs to ensure that it evolves in the future and continues to meet the needs of children in care.
“Despite the positives, we are disappointed at the lack of definitive action with regards to staying put. This initiative has the potential to change outcomes for so many more young people than it currently does as they approach adulthood – yet this response makes no commitment to making the ambition of this policy a reality. Each year thousands of young people leave care and are faced with living independently without adequate support or guidance, and the Government had the power to change this with their response to the Independent Fostering Review, but chose not to.
“Much more will need to be done as we collectively continue this journey to improve our care system for children and young people, but this represents a stepping stone towards a brighter future for all children and young people in care, and care leavers.”