Lord Sheikh: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to improve the physical and mental health of children and young adults in foster care.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The Government are taking a number of steps to improve the physical and mental health of looked after children. In particular, we are currently consulting on revised statutory guidance on promoting the health and well-being of looked after children. This guidance will be statutory on primary care trusts, strategic health authorities and local authorities and it will clearly outline the steps that should be taken to improve both physical and mental health. In addition, we have introduced an indicator within the national indicator set to measure progress on improving the emotional and behavioural health of looked after children. Other actions being taken include taking forward the recommendations of the CAMHS review in relation to vulnerable children, the piloting of multi-dimensional Treatment Foster Care and our wider Care Matters programme to improve outcomes for looked after children. This programme includes a number of measures to improve the quality of placements and of care planning which impact on children’s health and well-being.