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Private Fostering Week – 4th to 10th July 2016

Do you know a child or young person who is living away from home?

During Private Fostering Week we are encouraging anyone who knows a child or young person under 16* who is not living with their immediate family to notify Hertfordshire County Council.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of Private Fostering which is when child or young person is living away from their immediate family (a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle or step parent by marriage) for 28 days or more.

Lead member for Children’s Services Councillor Richard Roberts said: “If we are told about Private Fostering arrangements, then we are able to give help and support both to the child or young person and to the carer. Our priority is to ensure that all children and young people are safe, happy, healthy and succeeding at school.

It is also a legal requirement that the parent or carer inform their local council so that we can offer care and support. If you are caring for a child or young person who is not a close relative, and you expect them to be staying for more than 28 days, please get in touch.”

There may be many reasons why children/young people are living away from home with someone other than their parents or an immediate relative. Here are some examples of private Fostering arrangements:

  • Tara (15) and has lived with her father and his partner since she was 5. They never married and have recently split up. Tara has decided she wants to live with her father’s ex-partner
  • Shane (11) and Katie (7) live with their mother who has mental health issues and has been in hospital for a month. Shane and Katie have been staying with their cousin Jenny and her family
  • Gustav (14) has come to the UK from Russia to learn English for 8 weeks and has been staying with a host family.
  • Tendai (6) had been brought to the UK by his mother from Nigeria and was left with a family friend whom he refers to as “auntie”, whilst his mother returned to Nigeria. There has been no contact with his mother since and his “auntie” has continued to care for him
  • Jake is 17 and has cerebral palsy. His father recently passed away following a short illness and prior to his death arranged for a family friend to care for him

If you are the parent/carer or are a professional who knows of a child or young person who is not living with their parents or you need help or advice about Private Fostering arrangements, please contact Hertfordshire County Council Customer Services Centre on 0300 123 4043.

Private Fostering in Hertfordshire

Do you know of a child or young person who is living in a private fostering arrangement? 

Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 (under 18 if they have a disability) lives with an adult who is not a close relative for 28 days or more. We are urging childcare and education professionals to get in touch if they become aware of any private fostering arrangements to help us ensure the safety and well-being of children not living with a direct relative.

The law states that the county council need to be told if a child or young person isn’t living with their parents so that we can make sure they are healthy, safe and receiving appropriate care. Our fostering team can also give help and advice to the carers, the parents and the young person.

We are asking schools across Hertfordshire to tell us about any child or young person who is not living with their parents. Please contact the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043.

If you work in a children's centre, contact our Friends and Family Fostering Team manager Lorna Forde on 01442 453595.

 

Recruiting Foster Carers in Hertfordshire - Can you Help?

Each year we need to recruit more than 60 new foster carers who provide care, support and stability to children and young people who are going through some tough times.

We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in fostering. Just drop us a line on 0800 917 0925 or email us on fostering.recruitment@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Foster carers receive up to £400 per child per week (depending on age of child and experience of carer). We offer excellent local training and support to all carers.

Did you know that we also have a small team of Specialist foster carers who have professional experience of working with children and young people.

Our specialist carers care for children and young people with more challenging needs and work closely with our adolescent resource centres. They receive up to £600 per week for this demanding role.

Please call us on 0800 917 0925 to find out more.

 

Recommend a Friend to Fostering

Remember – as a member of Hertfordshire County Council if you recommend to us someone who goes on to be approved as a foster carer, you will be elible for £300 in High Street vouchers. Just call the recruitment team on 0800 917 0925 with their details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working Together to Keep Children Safe - an Update on Private Fostering

Since early 2006 the private fostering action group has been working to raise the profile and understanding of private fostering with professionals from CSF and its partners.

Under the Children Act 1989 the local authority needs to be told if a child or young person isn’t living with their parents so that it can make sure they are healthy, safe and doing well. We will then arrange regular visits to check that the child or young person is being well looked after and we can also give help and advice to the carers, the parents and the young person.

In the last few years there has been a significant increase in the number of notifications. However, this still needs to be increased as it is estimated that there may be hundreds of children across the county in private fostering arrangements that we haven’t been notified about. This is a potentially vulnerable group of children who often remain invisible to CSF.

New Private Fostering Leaflet for Children and Young People
CSF has produced posters and leaflets that have been distributed widely across the county.  There is an addition to this series with a leaflet aimed at young people at the assessment stage to help explain what happens in private fostering arrangements and how CSF will be involved.