Are you looking after someone else’s child?

Private fosteringWhen Giovanni offered his son’s school friend a place to stay in their family home so the teenager didn’t have a lengthy commute every morning and evening, he was trying to help out. It’s what many of us would do faced with a similar situation and it has benefited both the boy and his immediate family who live abroad, knowing their son is being well cared for.

What Giovanni didn’t know until he was informed by the boys’ school was that what the family was doing was officially known as Private Fostering and by law it has to be reported to the local authority. Although there is nothing wrong or illegal about looking after someone else’s child to help them out, when you are not an immediate relative and it lasts for a period of 28 days or more, the local authority has a duty to check that the child is being well looked after and that everyone is happy with the situation.

For Giovanni it all worked out well. Both his family and the teenager were allocated social workers to check that all was running smoothly and the placement has carried on successfully with the school friend settling into family life and currently sitting his GCSEs.

You can hear more about Giovanni’s story here.

Private Fostering Week takes place from 9 to 13 July and is a national initiative to raise awareness of what private fostering is and the need to keep local authorities informed. Whether you work in a school or other education setting, in a health environment or just hear something in passing, please get in touch if you think a private fostering arrangement may be taking place that we don’t know about. We’re not out to penalise people for not informing us, we just want to make sure the child is happy and being well looked after.

For more information on Private Fostering please visit our website.

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