Residents reminded of rules on Private Fostering

​Date:05/07/2016

Ref: PR 8277

Residents who enter into a private fostering agreement are being reminded they need to contact Wakefield Council and formally register the arrangement.

The call is being made during Private Fostering Week (July 4 – 10) which highlights what parents and carers need to do to ensure they are meeting their obligations to the child.

Private fostering is when a child under the age 16, or, aged 18 if disabled, is being cared for by someone other than a parent or a close relative for 28 days or more. A close relative is a grandparent, sibling, aunt or uncle, a step-parent of half-brother or sister.

If a parent or carer arranges for anyone else to look after their child for 28 days or more, who is not related to them, the Council needs to know about it.

Cllr Olivia Rowley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "It is essential that all children in our district are kept safe. If parents are entering into a private fostering agreement they need to tell us about their circumstances so we can offer them support and advice.

"By monitoring and supervising private foster placements we can assess if the child is living in a safe place with people who have the ability to care for them."

In Wakefield there were 30 private fostering arrangements registered with the Council during  2015/16.

Examples include children who are sent from abroad to stay with another family, children on a holiday exchange or living with host families while studying, teenagers staying with friends after severing family ties and children being cared for by others due to parental illness.

Parents and carers who are planning to privately foster their child need to contact the Council six weeks before the arrangement begins. Or, if it's an emergency they need to get in touch within 48 hours of the arrangement being made.

To register a Private Foster arrangement, call 0345 8 503 503. For more information visit http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/ fostering-and-adoption/what-is-fostering/private-fostering