The Care Inquiry – building futures for our most vulnerable children - launch statement

EIGHT LEADING charities joined forces to conduct an inquiry into what works best in achieving permanence - including stability and a positive sense of identity and belonging - for children in care and those raised by family members as an alternative to care.

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The Care Inquiry is a collaboration of specialist charities representing all care options for these children. Adoption UK, British Association of Adoption & Fostering (BAAF), Family Rights Group, The Fostering Network, Research in Practice, TACT, The Together Trust and The Who Cares? Trust are bringing together their expertise and knowledge – and that of others within the sector – to explore how society can best provide homes for our most vulnerable children.

Every year over 90,000 children are involved in the care system across England. Many of these children will return home or live with a member of their wider family. But those who cannot are fostered, adopted or live in a children’s home.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the chief executives of the Care Inquiry charities said: “The emphasis must be on finding homes that meet a child's needs and on avoiding unnecessary delays. Different options – foster care, adoption, special guardianship, being cared for by family or friends or in children’s homes – will be right for different children. They all have the potential to meet a child's needs and provide them with a stable and secure environment during childhood and beyond.

“The care system must work to improve the lives of all children who come into contact with it. The crucial thing – for each and every child – is to find a home which provides them with stability, helps them develop a strong sense of identity and gives them a feeling of belonging.”

The Care Inquiry consisted of three evidence collating sessions in November, December and January. Read the full Care Inquiry report: Making not Breaking: buildings relationships for our most vulnerable children that was published in spring 2013.

The aim of the Inquiry, which is supported by the Nuffield Foundation, is to collect and explore the evidence on what actually works for children, in order to make recommendations to central and local government about how to succeed in helping them achieve long-term stability and security.

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For more information visit Follow the Inquiry’s progress on Twitter @thecareinquiry.