WQ83048 (e) Tabled on 28/07/2021

Following the publication of the Social Care Recovery Framework, will the Minister outline: how the Welsh Government plans to eliminate private profit from the care of looked after children; what timescales are involved and how the public sector will accommodate a four-fold increase in care provision for looked-after children?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Social Services | Answered on 02/08/2021

Eliminating profit making from the care of looked after children is one of the highest priorities for this Government. We believe that ‘public care’ should mean that children are cared for by local authorities or other not-for-profit providers where social values and the best interests of and outcomes for children are the overriding motives.

We know from children and young people they feel exploited by large, private organisations which make a profit from their lived experience of being in care. We do not consider it right that some private companies who run fostering and residential care services, make significant profits from the children in their care. We want to build a not-for-profit system that is rooted in social values.  

To take forward this work, we are establishing a multiagency Programme Board. The Board will consider how best to deliver this work within a strong governance framework and thorough impact assessment. Working collaboratively with our stakeholders and ensuring we meet the best interests of children and young people will be key to success.

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 contains provisions which are designed to promote the use of social enterprises, co-operatives and user-led services. We want to see more of this type of provision for looked after children in Wales. We will use our existing strong legislative framework to maximum effect and if additional legislation is needed or existing framework requires strengthening or refinement, we will consider these options.

We have listened to children and young people and will continue to seek their views as we progress this commitment.