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21 Oct 2009 : Column 309WH—continued

As I have outlined, the Government place huge value on the army of good foster carers, who do so much to improve young lives and to inspire and safeguard children.
21 Oct 2009 : Column 310WH
We have done much to support them, as I outlined earlier, and wish to continue working with stakeholders to determine what more we can do to help in the local recruitment of foster carers. As my hon. Friend pointed out, if we are to attract people into foster caring and retain our existing foster carers, we need to make sure that they receive the right support.

The White Paper "Care Matters" set out our plans for improving the training of and support available to foster carers. We must continue to do everything in our power to build on that good work, in order to ensure that foster carers feel valued and appreciated for the incredible work that they do, so that young people everywhere have the same opportunities and rights to enjoy their childhood in safety.

I applaud my hon. Friend for what he is doing on behalf of his constituent, but I fully agree with him that this issue has taken far too long to resolve. I shall do all in my power under the regulatory regime provided by this place to ensure that my hon. Friend's constituent can find closure on the matter, ensuring that her reputation as a foster carer and a professional is not besmirched. I shall do all I can to work with my hon. Friend to ensure that that happens. Again, I congratulate him on securing this debate. Hopefully, but after far too long, we can seek resolution.

Question put and agreed to.

5.7 pm

Sitting adjourned.

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