Memorandum from the Department of Health
2001 (S.I. 2001/2992)
1. The Committee has requested a memorandum on the
Explain why paragraph 9 of Schedule
1 to the 1991 Regulations has not been consequentially amended,
given the amendment (made by regulation 2(2)(b)) to regulation
3(4A) of the 1991 Regulations.
2. Paragraph 9 of Schedule 1 and regulation 3(4A)
serve different, albeit related purposes. Regulation 3(4A) provides
(subject to paragraph (4B)) that a person is precluded from acting
as a local authority foster parent, if he or a member of his household
who is aged 18 or over has been convicted of or cautioned for
a specified offence committed at the age of 18 or over.
3. Schedule 1 sets out the information which local
authorities must obtain in relation to a foster parent on approval
and renewal of approval (regulation 4) including (at paragraph
9), information about any criminal convictions or cautions relating
to him or a member of his household who is over the age of 18.
The information is not limited to specified offences, nor to those
committed at or over a certain age. The local authority will need
this information in order to consider the suitability of the prospective
foster parent and in particular whether the disqualification in
regulation 3(4A) applies. Regulation 3(4A) will require a formal
record check on the date of decision or renewal of approval and
if a member of the household has turned 18 by then, another check
would have to be carried out by the authority.
4. The Department accepts, however, that it would
have been preferable to have amended paragraph 9 of Schedule 1,
consistently with the amendment made by regulation 2(2)(b). The
Foster Placement (Children) Regulations are to be replaced with
effect from 1 April 2002 and we will bear this point in mind.
8 November 2001