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Rules for foster homes get tighter

Published fredag 27 maj 2016 kl 15.44
Minister: Some placements didn't go well
(2:00 min)
Åsa Regner is minister for children, the elderly and equality. Photo: Ronnie Ritterland / Sveriges Radio
Åsa Regner is minister for children, the elderly and equality. Photo: Ronnie Ritterland / Sveriges Radio

The rising need for foster homes has led to shady operators moving into the market, and now the Swedish government will require all people who run foster homes to pass a criminal record check.

There are over 30,000 lone children with refugee status in Sweden, after a recent sharp rise. Once they are granted asylum by the Migration Board their local municipality has the responsibility of placing them in a home.

The Minister for Children says most local authorities already check the register of criminal convictions when choosing a foster home, but now it is obligatory, “no matter how stressful it is”.

Minister Åsa Regnér says that it is now also going to be the law that homes hosting more than three children have to be registered with the Health and Social Care Inspectorate, ”to make sure that it is a home that takes in children for the children’s best interest, and not for any other reason”.

A third change is a unified system of compulsory rules for good conduct during the daily routines of the larger foster centres, the so-called HVB homes.

Åsa Regnér says during this time of extra stress on the foster system some placements have not gone well, and state agencies have warned about dodgy firms getting involved in the care home business simply to turn a quick profit.

The changes take effect on 1 July 2016.

Industry association Svenska Vård welcomes the changes, but wants the government to go further and demand a permit for consultancy companies that manage placements in various homes on behalf of municipalities.

The director of Svenska Vård, Dan Nilsson, says such companies should also be under the Health and Social Care Inspectorate, to raise the standard of such services. But minister Regnér says this would need a change in the law, and so will not happen until after the summer.

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