Issue - meetings

Public Issues

Meeting: 21/09/2021 - Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 37)

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:


The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a public statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.



A public question had been received as follows:


“In light of the Ofsted recommendations, will you now be urgently reassessing the cases of children in BCP care to return them to birth families where possible (especially where the necessary early support was not given in the first place), do you agree that neurodivergent parents should receive any additional support, and do you feel that investing in such support would be better, especially for the children's long term needs, than opting to keep funding long term care costs?”


Received from Mr Tinsley. Address supplied.



Thank you very much for your question. Having read the OFSTED report and recommendations, along with your question, I very much appreciate the sentiment of the question but am not sure precisely which Ofsted recommendations it refers. I will, however, endeavour to give you the fullest possible answer to each of your points:


Will you now be urgently reassessing the cases of children in BCP care to return them to birth families where possible?


This is a complex question to answer because children who are in care and adopted children are subject to different legal arrangements.  I will answer the question by explaining the different nature of this arrangements and separately answer the question of urgent review.


I would like to assure you that BCP endeavours to support all children to remain with their birth families wherever that is safe and possible. If it is not in the best interests of the child for example where there is abuse or the child’s needs cannot be met by their parents, we seek for alternative forms of care for the child our first consideration being wider family or friends.

46% of the children who entered care in BCP care last year returned home. A further 20% of the children who came into care in BCP last year went to live with wider family and friends caring for the child as a foster carer or under a Special Guardianship arrangement.

For children who cannot return home or to their wider families BCP has a duty to secure children a permanent and safe home to adulthood and beyond. Some children are fostered under a section 20 arrangement where birth parents share parental responsibility with the local authority, others are made subject to care order where the local authority holds parental responsibility. A care order is made by a judge who will carefully consider the ability of parents and wider family to care for the child prior to the making of the order.

Under both of these legal arrangements BCP is required to encourage contact with birth family wherever that is safe to do so. There is a statutory meeting every 6 month which considers the views of all those involved with the child including birth family the child and professionals. The meeting considers contact and whether the plan should be for the child to remain in foster care. It is possible for a child to return home on a care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37