To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to ensure that recent findings of the Local Government Ombudsman relating to grandparents and their grandchildren following family breakup are acted on by local authorities.
25 February 2015
We issued ‘Family and Friends Care: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities’ in 2011. This guidance is clear that children and young people unable to live with their parents who are brought up by family and friends should receive the support they and their carers need to safeguard and promote their welfare, whether or not they are looked after.
The guidance requires local authorities to develop and publish clear, easily accessible policies to explain how they will provide assessment and support to children in the care of family and friends. In July 2013 I wrote to all local authorities to remind them of this requirement and to request they notify the Department of their policy. To date, 144 of 152 (94%) of local authorities have sent us links to their policies.
To aid transparency, we have agreed that the Family Rights Group (FRG), one of the leading voluntary organisations supporting family and friends carers, will publish the links to these policies on its website. FRG are now reviewing the content and quality of these policies and we are planning to provide feedback to local authorities on findings from this work.