Investigators launch review into alleged unfair treatment of Norfolk foster carers

Thetford news ENGANL00120130731114143
Thetford news ENGANL00120130731114143
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Investigators have launched an independent review into historic allegations of unfair treatment of foster carers in Norfolk.

The multi-agency review, backed by the police and the NHS, has been ordered by Sheila Lock, interim executive director of children’s services at Norfolk County Council.

An extension of an early examination, it will consider allegations raised by elected members and MPs that some foster carers may have been unfairly treated in the past.

The review will be led by Ian Parker, former chief executive of Middlesbrough Council, who has already examined two complaints from Norfolk.

Ms Lock said: “When concerns are raised about the safety of children, we have to act in their best interests. But in doing so we need to always treat our foster carers – who do such a brilliant job for us – with respect, listen to what they say and take that information seriously.

“The report will be published and any actions that are necessary brought to the attention of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.”

Ms Lock is encouraging people who have contacted MPs and councillors or independent fostering agencies to co-operate with the review team.

James Joyce, chairman of the county council’s children’s services committee, added: “The fact that this action is being actively supported by both the Constabulary and the NHS should encourage people to come forward with their concerns.

“Sheila and I are determined to leave no stone unturned as we move the department forward.”

The findings will be published, with respect for contributors’ confidentiality, with a view to improving how agencies in Norfolk work to protect children.

Anyone wishing to raise issues, as part of the review, can use the specially created email address parkerreview@norfolk.gov.uk.