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Human interest | News

Human interest: KCC believe private fostering in Kent is under-reported

Contributed by editor on Jul 06, 2017 - 02:17 PM

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The number of private fostering arrangements in Kent is continuing to rise, although the county council believes it is still being under-reported.

 



KCC is therefore continuing to raise awareness of those arrangements because failing to notify the local authority about them is against the law.

Private fostering is when a child under-16 (or under-18 with disabilities) lives with someone who is not a close relative (step parent, grandparent, step grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt) for 28 days or more.

Those caring for a child are legally required to notify the county council about these arrangements. Carers are given access to the advice and support they need to make sure children are well cared for and kept safe.

In Kent, the number of notifications of private fostering arrangements has risen between March 2016 and March 2017, from 72 notifications to 91, an increase of 26%. This suggests that such arrangements are more common than many might think and although the exact number of private fostering arrangements is unknown, KCC believes that private fostering is being under-reported.

Private fostering arrangements can be made for many reasons; it could be due to parents being ill, going abroad or to prison, a relationship breakdown or perhaps a child being brought to the UK to study English.

No exchange of money needs to take place to make it a private fostering arrangement, although some parents may provide money to the carers.

Anyone who knows a child is being privately fostered should tell the parent or carer to report the arrangement to Kent County Council at least six weeks before it happens or within 48 hours if the arrangement has been made in an emergency.

Referrals can be made by telephone on 03000 41 11 11.

If a professional knows or believes that KCC has not been told of the arrangement, they should call Specialist Children’s Services on the same number.

More information can be found on our private fostering page http://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/adoption-and-fostering/private-fostering 

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