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05 OCT 2012

New care inquiry launched by children charities

BabyA new Care Inquiry has been launched by eight leading children charities to consider how best to provide stable and permanent homes for children in England who cannot live with their birth families.

The Inquiry is a collaboration of specialist charities Adoption UK, the British Association of Adoption & Fostering (BAAF), Family Rights Group, the Fostering Network, Research in Practice, Tact, the Together Trust and The Who Cares? Trust. Together they will bring together their expertise and knowledge, and that of others in the sector, to explore how to best meet the needs of these children.

Every year over 90,000 children are involved in the care system across England.

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In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the chief executives of the Care Inquiry charities said: "The emphasis must be on finding homes that meet a child's needs and on avoiding unnecessary delays. Different options - foster care, adoption, special guardianship, being cared for by family or friends or in children's homes - will be right for different children. They all have the potential to meet a child's needs and provide them with a stable and secure environment during childhood and beyond.

"The care system must work to improve the lives of all children who come into contact with it. The crucial thing - for each and every child - is to find a home which provides them with stability, helps them develop a strong sense of identity and gives them a feeling of belonging."

Commenting on the launch, Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network, said: "Sorting out the care system goes much further than fostering, and that's why we were very keen to set up The Care Inquiry. Together we can have a much bigger voice and make recommendations for Government to ensure the right home can be found for all children."

The Care Inquiry is supported by the Nuffield Foundation and will consist of three evidence collating sessions in November, December and January, with a final report due out by spring 2013.

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