Letter: Children in care

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article (20 November) rightly identifies the importance of a move towards uniform standards in child care services as the best bulwark against future failures.

For foster care services, which now provide care for two-thirds of all children looked after by local authorities, that move is already under way. The Department of Health and the Scottish Office have recently agreed funding for an 18-month initiative to define and promote national standards for foster care, to ensure consistency of care for children, whichever local authority is responsible for their safety and development,

The UK Joint Working Party on Foster Care brings together, for the first time at a national level, directors of social services and family placement practitioners, foster carers, researchers and representatives of the social services inspectorates, local government associations and voluntary organisations.

If this work can be combined with the regulation and inspection of all foster care agencies as recommended in the Utting Report, it should go a long way towards ensuring a high standard of care for some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

PAT VERITY

Policy and Service Manager

National Foster Care Association

London SE1

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