Private fostering awareness week

Plymouth City Council is using national Private Fostering Week (6-10 July) as an opportunity to appeal to people across the city to notify them if they’re involved in a Private Fostering Arrangement.

The week, which launches today, is designed to make people more aware of and give more details on private fostering arrangements. When a child is looked after by someone other than a parent or close relative for more than 28 days, this is known as private fostering (a close relative includes a grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister or brother).

These arrangements can occur because of various circumstances, for example divorce, separation or arguments in the child’s family, or if the child is the boyfriend or girlfriend of one of your children.

Parents of children being privately fostered or private foster carers are required by law to notify their local authority as soon as they become aware the arrangement will be in place for 28 days or more. Once notified, the Council will send a social worker to visit the child to check that the arrangements are suitable and that the child’s needs are being met.

Councillor Sue McDonald, Cabinet Member for Children, Young people and Public health said: “Children and young people become privately fostered for a whole range of different reasons and in the majority of cases this arrangement will work well, but it’s still essential that those involved follow the required procedures and tell us so that we can be sure the children are safe and the child and the private foster carer have access to the support they need. Private Fostering Week is a good opportunity for people who might either be involved, or become involved, in private fostering to contact us.”

To contact Plymouth County Council regarding private fostering arrangements contact Advice and Assessment on 308600 or visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/privatefostering.htm