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22 March 2011, 06:00
Do you know someone under 16 who is living away from their parents? If so, you may not realise that your local council also needs to know.
Private fostering is when a child under 16 (under 18 if they are disabled) lives with someone who is not a close relative for 28 days or more. There can be many reasons why a child doesn’t live at home and their parent has arranged for someone else to care for them.
However, many parents and carers are not aware of this requirement and do not notify the local authority, even though it is against the law.
Lynn Costello, Acting Head of Fostering for Hertfordshire County Council, says: “We need to make sure that all children and young people are safe, happy and doing well, so it’s important that we know about Private Fostering arrangements.
“By notifying us of an arrangement, we are able to give advice and support to young person, carers and parents and ensure that everything is going well."
Milton Keynes council is holding an information stand in the City Library during the week-long campaign for the public to find out more about private fostering. Anyone is welcome to drop in and pick up information about how the council can help with issues from housing and benefits to well-being and education.
Lead Member for Children, Councillor Rosemary Drewett said, "Many people will not be aware of the regulations around private fostering and how the council can help people ensure they can provide the best care for children they are looking after. The council has a legal responsibility to make sure that all children and young people living in Milton Keynes are safe and well looked after and we are keen to support private foster carers in whatever way we can."
For more information about private fostering log onto.....
Hertfordshire www.hertsdirect.org or call 0300 123 4043
Milton Keynes www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/adoption-fostering or write to: Fostering Service, Children and Young People’s Service, Milton Keynes Council, Saxon Court, 502 Avebury Boulevard. Milton Keynes, MK9 3HS
Central Bedfordshire 0300 300 8090
Northamptonshire 0300 126 1009