Norfolk foster carer concerns to be submitted to national MP inquiry

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb. Pic: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb. Pic: Steve Parsons/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Evidence from foster carers who claim they were unfairly treated by Norfolk County Council is to be submitted to a national inquiry into fostering.

MPs on the House of Commons education committee have launched the inquiry. Issues it will consider include support for and treatment of foster carers.

And North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb is working with the Norfolk Foster Care Association to submit evidence to that select committee on the situation in Norfolk.

Mr Lamb said: 'I think it's very important that the committee hears evidence from Norfolk. We can produce evidence about where the system has failed people, not just foster carers, but looked after children.

'I think we need to put the spotlight on the whole issue, both in Norfolk and nationally. Because foster carers have not got rights, they can have a fear of speaking out, because if they do, they lose their income and it can harm looked-after children.

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'This is a real opportunity to get national recognition that the system is flawed.'

An independent review into foster care commissioned by Norfolk County Council and published last month concluded six carers had been wrongly treated by the council.

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In half the cases, the needs of children were not made paramount in decisions over potentially-disruptive changes to their care, the Parker Review found.

But six further cases involving foster carers associated with the Norfolk Foster Carer Association were not included in the review.

The association and the council were at loggerheads over aspects of the review, including over the role of the council's own lawyers in it.

A council spokeswoman said: 'We will be more than happy to co-operate with Mr Lamb to ensure he has all the information he needs to provide a full picture to the select committee.'

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