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Private Fostering An introduction for all staff working in Children’s Services START.

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Presentation on theme: "Private Fostering An introduction for all staff working in Children’s Services START."— Presentation transcript:

1 Private Fostering An introduction for all staff working in Children’s Services START

2 Awareness of Private Fostering Introduction Who’s responsibility is it? What is in place to safeguard these children? Why is it so important? END Knowledge Check Frequently Asked Questions Procedures The statistics

3 NextMenu Introduction Many children who are privately fostered are not known to the services, institutions or people working with them. Privately fostered children are much more vulnerable because of their ‘invisibility’, and because services do not always record and report information about them. Under new regulations, identifying, recording and reporting children who may be privately fostered is everyone’s responsibility - the responsibility falls on all those people or agencies who come into contact with children and young people in their work.

4 NextMenu Private Fostering – A Definition “A private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made privately (that is to say without the involvement of a local authority) for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more... The period for which the child is cared for and accommodated by the private foster carer should be continuous, but that continuity is not broken by the occasional short break.” (National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering DFES 2005)

5 NextMenu What does that mean? A privately fostered child is: a child or young person looked after by someone other than a parent, step-parent, sibling, aunt, uncle or grand parent who has no parental responsibility for a period of more than 28 days. AND

6 NextMenu A private fostering arrangement is only legitimate if: The parent gives informed consent The local authority knows about and agrees with the arrangement NB. For some older children, especially teenagers approaching 16, parents know of their whereabouts but whilst not ‘consenting’, choose not to intervene. Effectively, this may be classed as Private Fostering

7 NextMenu What it isn’t… Children can live with and be cared for by their aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters or grandparents without outside involvement. This is not classed as Private Fostering.

8 NextMenu Examples of Private Fostering Arrangements Children sent to this country, for education or health care, by parents who live overseas. A teenager living with a friend's family because they don't get on with their own family. Children living with a friend's family because their parents' study or work involves unsociable hours, which make it difficult to use ordinary day care or after-school care.

9 NextMenu Examples of Private Fostering Arrangements Children staying with another family because their parents have separated or divorced. A child from overseas staying with a host family while attending a language school Students at boarding school who stay with a host family during the holidays.

10 NextMenu The Statistics – Key facts (Based on year ending march 2008) 1330 children were reported as being cared for and accommodated in private fostering arrangements in England (this is an increase on previous years) 70% of privately fostered children were born in the United Kingdom (an increase of 2% on 2007) The number of privately fostered children born in Africa dropped from 10% in 2007 to 6% in 2008 Source:

11 NextMenu The Statistics New Private Fostering Arrangements by Place of Birth NB: Other includes Middle East, Oceania, Canada & USA, Central & South America Source:

12 NextMenu The Statistics New private fostering Arrangements by age (year ending March 2008) Source:

13 NextMenu Why is it so important? Privately fostered children are often made more vulnerable by their living circumstances, and by their status not being identified and reported to the local authority.

14 NextMenu Victoria Climbie Victoria was brought to the UK in April 1999 from the Ivory Coast, via France, by Therese- Marie Kouao, her great-aunt. Therese-Marie Kouao offered Victoria's parents the chance of a good education for their daughter. She had been brought into the UK in a private foster agreement. On 25 February 2000 Victoria died.

15 NextMenu Victoria Climbie The Home Office Pathologist found 128 separate injuries on her body and stated that it was “the worst case of child abuse I've encountered” In his inquiry into her death, Lord Laming highlighted concerns about arrangements for children who are in private foster care. Subsequent guidance has emphasized the duty of local authorities to safeguard privately fostered children.

16 NextMenu Whose responsibility is it to report private fostering arrangements?

17 NextMenuIt’s the responsibility of everybody who comes into contact with children through their work to report instances of Private Fostering. That includes you!!

18 NextMenu What safeguards are in place to protect privately fostered children?

19 NextMenu National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering All local authorities (meaning schools, social care, other services for children and their families) have a duty to assess the suitability of a private fostering arrangement All privately fostered children will have a named social worker and will be visited regularly by their named social worker The parent of the privately fostered child retains parental responsibility during a private fostering arrangement All services have a duty to : promote awareness of private fostering actively identify and report privately fostered children and arrangements act to safeguard and support privately fostered children and arrangements

20 NextMenu Procedural Guidance Private Fostering- Procedural Flowcharts

21 NextMenu Receive notification Receive information of Arrangement. “Going to look after a child/place child with private foster carers.” “We are looking after the child/my child is already with private foster carers.” Does the Local Authority need to exercise other duties under the Children Act to determine if the child is in need? YES Initial Assessment. NO If the Child moves in after the date of the notification and the completion of the Arrangements Assessment a visit to the child must take place within 7 calendar days of the date the child moved in. Private Fostering Assessment of Arrangements completed within 7 days of date of Notification/Arrangement. The child must be seen and spoken to as part of the Assessment. The social worker will notify the fostering service before the end of the Assessment. Letters must be sent out to professionals, other agencies, parents and carers confirming the outcome of the Private Fostering assessment of Arrangement. The Fostering Service will gather the information for the statutory checks and references and commence processing. All adult household members will have CRB checks. Regulation 8 Assessment Visits to the placement and see and speak with the child within every 6 weeks. If the child moves in following the Assessment a visit must take place within 7 days of the date when the child moved in. REMEMBER: Visit within every 42 calendar days for the first year, then 84 calendar days for subsequent years. At the end of the Assessment of Arrangements the fostering service starts the Assessment of Private Foster Carer(s). To be completed within 35 days of the end date of the Assessment of Arrangements. The Fostering Service will ensure that the statutory checks are processed and returned.

22 NextMenu Concerns eg relating to the statutory checks, references or placement. Continued Does the Local Authority need to exercise other duties under the Children Act to determine if the child is in need? YES NO Inform the Monitoring Manager for Private Fostering Regulation 8 Assessment Visits Initial Assessment Strategy Discussion to include decision of whether the Prohibition procedure should commence. Start the Core Assessment and continue the Regulation 8 Assessment Visits. Commence Core Assessment and continue the Regulation 8 Assessment Visits Wherever a child is living with Private Foster Carers the Statutory visits under Regulation 8 must continue within timescales in all circumstances - even if the child is subject to assessment as a child in need or has a Child Protection or Child in Need Plan If the child moves out of Lincolnshire either with the private foster carers, or back to parents, or to another address, notify the other local authority by letter within two working days of the child moving.

23 Frequently Asked Questions Is it my role to enquire about the status of a child? I know of a child in this situation but everything seems fine, do I still have to report this to the Local Authority? But my organisation doesn’t gather information about a child or young person’s living circumstances, isn’t that Children’s Services’ responsibility? Where do I go for more information and support? What if the Local Authority knows about the arrangement but the living situation changes? I know of a Young person who is living in a Private Fostering arrangement but if I inform the Local Authority I will be breaching the confidentiality. What do I do? Menu

24 Is it my role to enquire about the status of a child? Yes, absolutely! You should check that the parent of any child that you come into contact with consents to their living arrangements. Report private fostering arrangements to the local authority. Back to FAQ

25 It is everyone’s duty to identify, verify, record and report any circumstances which may be private fostering, and to promote this with the children and families concerned. Victoria Climbié died because individuals, teams, agencies and systems failed to gather and share information. Children’s Services are responsible for assessing the suitability of the arrangement and visiting the child regularly. But my organisation doesn’t gather information about a child or young person’s living circumstances, isn’t that Children’s Services’ responsibility? Back to FAQ

26 I know of a child in this situation but everything seems fine, do I still have to report this to the Local Authority? Yes, you do need to report this. No one can assume that everything is fine without checking. The local authority has a duty to assess the suitability of the arrangement and ascertain if the parent has actually given permission for the living arrangement, before anyone can accept that the child has been safeguarded. Back to FAQ

27 What if the Local Authority knows about the arrangement but the living situation changes. Do I need to tell the authority? Private foster carers should tell the local authority about significant changes during the private fostering arrangements within 48 hours. Significant changes include: –A change of address; –Someone joining or leaving the household; –If any member of the household has court convictions, disqualifications from fostering or limits on how many they can foster; –The child leaves the private foster carer’s address; –If the privately fostered child dies. Back to FAQ

28 I know of a young person who is living in a Private Fostering arrangement but if I inform the Local Authority I will be breaching the confidentiality. What do I do? You must tell the Local Authority. You will not be breaching confidentiality by notifying Children's Services- you will be ensuring that the child/young person is safeguarded. You should also tell the child/young person that you intend to inform the Local Authority. Back to FAQ

29 Where do I go for more information and support? or to notify Local Authority of a Private Fostering arrangement, or possible arrangement Customer Service Centre on Back to FAQ

30 Awareness of Private Fostering Introduction Who’s responsibility is it? What is in place to safeguard these children? Why is it so important? END Knowledge Check Frequently Asked Questions Procedures The statistics

31 Knowledge Check Shaira is 12. She has been spending a lot of time with her friend Kelly’s family because her mum and dad are going through an unpleasant divorce and she finds the arguments upsetting. Shaira has asked that she live permanently with Kelly and her family. Shaira’s mum and dad think that this is a good idea as the disruption is starting to affect her school work. Will this be a Private Foster arrangement? YesNo

32 Knowledge Check Stephen is 5. His mum went into hospital to have a major operation. The doctors have advised her that she would not be able to look after Stephen while she was recovering and that it could take up to 2 months for her to fully recover. Stephen is staying with his grandmother until his mum is well enough to look after him again. Is this a Private Foster arrangement? YesNo

33 Knowledge Check Baako is 15 and has come to the UK to help him learn English. His parents have arranged that he will be studying at school and living with an English host family for the duration of his schooling. He plans to visit his family every 3 weeks. YesNo Is this a Private Foster arrangement?

34 Knowledge Check Carrie is 17 and has a mild learning disability. She has decided that she wants to spend more time with her boyfriend. She tells her parents that she is going to move in with him and his family. They agree that it is fine for her to do so. YesNo Is this a Private Foster arrangement?

35 Correct! Because Shaira will be staying with someone who is not a close relative and the arrangement is likely to last for more than 28 days, this would be a Private Foster arrangement. Next Qu Menu

36 Correct! Because Stephen will be staying with a grand parent this arrangement would not be a Private Fostering arrangement it would be Kinship Fostering. Next Qu Menu

37 Correct! Even though Baako will still be seeing his parents at intervals of less than 28 days, this is still a Private Fostering arrangement because “continuity is not broken by the occasional short break” Next Qu Menu

38 Correct! Even though Carrie is 17 this would still be a private fostering arrangement because she has a disability. Menu

39 Maybe you need to re-read that part of the presentation. Click to return to the relevant section Backt o Qu Menu

40 Maybe you need to re-read that part of the presentation. Click to return to the relevant section Backt o Qu Menu

41 Maybe you need to re-read that part of the presentation. Click to return to the relevant section Backt o Qu Menu

42 Maybe you need to re-read that part of the presentation. Click to return to the relevant section Backt o Qu Menu

43 Awareness of Private Fostering Introduction Who’s responsibility is it? What is in place to safeguard these children? Why is it so important? END Knowledge Check Frequently Asked Questions Procedures The statistics


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