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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > July 2017 > Privately Fostered

Privately Fostered

Help needed to identify privately fostered children

 

Bedford Borough Council is calling on people to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of children being cared for by someone who is not a direct relative.

 

The call to action is part of Private Fostering Week (3 - 7 July) and an initiative called Somebody Else's Child. It aims to reduce the number of children living in private fostering arrangements in England where their Local Authority has not been notified.

 

Private fostering describes an arrangement when someone, who is not a close relative, cares for another person's child for 28 days or more. Although this is done by private arrangement, the parent and the carer has a legal responsibility to notify the Council, where the child is going to live so that social workers can ensure the child is being properly cared for.

 

Teachers, health visitors, doctor’s surgeries and the general public are being asked to notify the Council immediately if they hear about a private fostering arrangement, so that carers can be offered help and support, such as financial advice about benefits to which they may be entitled. The privately fostered child is also entitled to an assessment of their needs to ensure that these are being met.

 

Councillor Shan Hunt, Portfolio Holder for Children's Social Care and Lead Member for Children's Services, said: “Everybody has a role in keeping our children safe - whether you are a teacher, youth worker, neighbour or even if you just chat to the other parents at the school gate. If you hear about a child who is being privately fostered please let us know immediately, so we can ensure the child is being kept safe and able to take advantage of all available opportunities.”

 

To notify Bedford Borough Council of a private fostering arrangement contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01234 718700 during office hours (08:45 – 17:15 Monday – Thursday, 08:45 – 16:20 Friday).

 

For more information visit: http://www.bedford.gov.uk/ or http://www.somebodyelseschild.org.uk/

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