Private Fostering? You need to tell us!
Did you know that if you are looking after someone else’s child for a prolonged period of time, you need to let the council know as this is called private fostering?
Next week, (8 -12 July) is Private Fostering Week which aims to raise awareness around the number of young people that are living in other people’s care as well highlighting the importance of letting the council know.
Figures show that approximately 20,000 children up and down the country live away from home in private fostering arrangements, but less than 50 per cent of these arrangements are registered.
If you are currently caring for someone else’s child who is under the age of 16 years (or 18 years if disabled) for longer than 28 days, then you are private fostering and must inform the council immediately unless you are a close relative. Close relatives include step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts (related by blood).
Private fostering is an agreement between parents and carers but by law the council needs to be informed by both parties at least six weeks before it begins.
Once the council is aware they will be able to offer support through the process and be on hand to provide any advice.
Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health Integration said: “The welfare of our young people is of utmost importance and although the majority of private foster carers are doing a fantastic job, we still need to know so we can check that all the rules and regulations are being followed.
“The council has a duty of care and we want to ensure that the young people are being cared for in the right way.”