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Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, commenting on the Government’s response to the Fostering Stocktake, said:

“The Government is right to make stability its top priority for children in foster homes, but it must follow through on these ambitions with action. Foster carers must be given help and training to deal with issues like children’s mental health problems, so they can provide the best support to vulnerable children who often have very complex needs.

“I am pleased the Government agrees with the recommendations made in the Narey review that foster parents should be given more freedom to make day to day decisions, and I have long called for foster parents to be allowed to give physical affection to children, if that is what the child wants. It is also right that IROs are being retained.

“As our own research has shown, many children are still moving around the care system too frequently, preventing them from building the settled and strong relationships they need as they are growing up and leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and harm. This must change so that every child growing up in a foster family receives the stability, support, love and care they need and deserve.”