Union for foster carers welcomes ministerial climbdown over plans to allow councils to opt out of duty to support and training for foster families.
GMB, the union for foster carers, today welcomed confirmation that ministers are to climb down over key parts of the Children and Social Work Bill.
The controversial proposals would have let local councils set aside children's rights, including opting out of all fostering regulations and the duty to provide support and training for foster families.
But the government has now agreed to support amendments tabled by shadow children's minister Emma Lewell-Buck to scrap the relevant clauses, removing the proposals for the bill.
Once the government has signed the amendments, the proposals will be formally removed from the future legislation.
Earlier this week, GMB appeared before the Education Select Committee to demand proper recognition for dedicated members who look after vulnerable children.
Rachel Harrison, GMB Lead Officer for Foster Carers said:
"It will be welcome news to many foster carers that the government will be ditching their ill-thought plans.
"The idea of allowing local authorities to opt out of current regulations and duties to the most vulnerable young children in society was a dangerous one.
"GMB have consistently fought for greater recognition of the role of foster carers, better access to skills & training support as well as nationwide standards to improve the system not only for foster carers, but also the children they look after - so this u-turn addresses only part of the problem, as local authorities continue to endure budget cuts handed down by government we will see vital local services like fostering struggle to deliver the care that is so desperately needed."
Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at [email protected]
NOTES TO EDITORS
 Rachel Harrison, GMB Lead Officer for Schools and Foster Carers gave evidence to the Education Select Committee on Wednesday 1 March as part of its fostering inquiry: http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/6c74862a-6421-4e79-8de3-c63e03460e64