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Children: Social Services

Question for Department for Education

UIN 153955, tabled on 14 April 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the Government's planned timetable is for (a) responding to and (b) implementing recommendations of the Children's social care market study final report by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Answered on

26 April 2022

Children’s social care in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter. The answer reflects the position in England.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a market study in March 2021 examining the lack of availability and increasing costs in children’s social care provision, including children’s homes and fostering agencies. The CMA examined concerns around high prices paid by local authorities and the inadequate supply of appropriate placements for children. Its interim report was published on 22 October and its full report, including recommendations, was published on 10 March 2022.

The department welcomes the report and is carefully considering the CMA’s recommendations. At this point, the department is unable to comment on timeframes for implementation of the recommendations until we have fully considered the findings contained in the final report. However, the department commits to providing a response to the report within 90 days.