9 July 2013

Private fostering – it’s a public responsibility

Brighton & Hove City Council is urging residents to help them ensure the safety and well-being of children who are being cared for by someone who is not a direct relative.

Private fostering is when someone, who is not a close relative, cares for another person’s child for 28 days or more.

It is perfectly legal, but the parent and the carer must notify the local authority where the child is going to live so that the local authority can ensure that the child is being properly looked after.

Thousands of children in the UK are looked after in this way. However, it is feared that some may not have been notified to their local authority and may be at risk of abuse, or victims of trafficking.

To contact the council about private fostering please email acas@brighton-hove.gov.uk or phone 01273 295920.

If you think a child is at risk of harm and need to contact us outside of office hours, call the emergency child protection team on (01273) 335905 or call the police on 101 or in an emergency 999.

The chair of the council’s children and families committee, Councillor Sue Shanks, said: ““Everybody has a role in keeping our children safe – whether you are a teacher, youth worker, neighbour or chat to the other parents and carers 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.”

The council’s call to action is part of a national initiative called Somebody Else’s Child, which is co-ordinated by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering. This aims to reduce the number of children in un-notified private fostering arrangements in England.

Visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/privatefostering for further information about private fostering.