Last week, the Government announced plans to begin pilots to extend the current physical health assessments to cover mental health for children entering care. In the last few months I have been fighting for this amendment and am delighted that following discussions with Ministers at the Department of Education this important change will go ahead.
I made a speech thanking the Minister for the Government’s response and welcoming the introduction of the pilots. You can find my speech in full here.
I recently wrote an article for the Liberal Democrat Voice regarding the success of this campaign – the article is available here.
I am very encouraged by and was grateful to hear the commitment that he made today at the Dispatch Box, announcing that there will be, I think he said, between six and 10 pilots starting in April or May next year, to test out new approaches to mental health assessments for children in care. As he said, this will happen in parallel to the valuable and important work of the expert working group. I consider this to be a really important step forward, so I am very grateful to him and I look forward to making any contribution that I can to the development and implementation of these pilots. I thank him and all noble Lords who have participated in this discussion and I will say again how pleased I am by this progress. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.