This chapter explores partnership with birth parents of children looked after by local authorities and living in foster and residential homes. The idea of partnership has been emphasized in professional and research literature both since and prior to the 1989 legislation. Recent evidence suggests that the Children Act 1989 has led to more effective involvement of parents in the planning process. Pleas to form stronger partnerships with parents of looked-after children need to take full account of the complexities of the situation. The social work research literature has highlighted specific partnership issues affecting the two main forms of placements of children looked after by local authorities - foster care and children’s homes. The consensus of opinion is that maintaining contact with parents benefits also children living in long-term placements, including their emotional and social development. Professional attitudes, informed by research, are altering and the benefits of partnership and contact are more widely acknowledged.