Drive to find and support people who ‘privately foster’

Bradford Council is marking Private Fostering Week, which runs from 3 to 7 July, by reminding people to get in touch if they think a child is living with someone other than their parents or a close relative.

Private fostering is where a child lives with someone who is not their parent or a close relative, for longer than 28 days. This can be for a number of reasons including if the child’s parents are abroad or unwell, or if there are difficulties in the family.

Private foster care can be a very positive experience; however, the council needs to know about children and young people in these types of arrangements as they are potentially vulnerable as they are not living with their parents.

Bradford Council is particularly asking people who work with children to be aware of private fostering and to notify the council.

The council has produced a short film about private fostering that can be viewed here.  Messages are also being sent out in to the Polish, Slovakian and Czech communities through social media posts.

Coun Val Slater, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “If you look after someone else’s child, or know of someone who does, we’re encouraging you to contact us.

“Ensuring all children are safe is a priority. Everyone should know what private fostering is and what you need to do if you think a child is living in this arrangement.”

People can contact Children’s Services on 01274 437500 or find out more at:

http://www.bradford.gov.uk/children-young-people-and-families/private-fostering/private-fostering/

More information about the national campaign is available at:

http://www.privatefostering.org.uk/

Notes

A private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made without the direct involvement of a Local Authority for the care of a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative for 28 days or more.

A close relative is defined as “a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle (whether a full or half relative or by marriage or civil partnership) or step-parent.

Privately fostered children are a diverse and sometimes vulnerable group, which includes:

• children sent from abroad to stay with another family, usually to improve their educational opportunities

• teenagers who, having fallen out with their parents, are staying in short-term arrangements with friends or other non-relatives

• language students living with host families

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