THURROCK Council is asking residents to let them know of any child who is being “privately fostered”.
To support this, it is running a free workshop to educate residents about private fostering and what it means.
The event, which is open to everyone, will take place on Thursday, 20 June at the Culver Centre, Daiglan Drive South Ockendon, from 9.30am to 11.30am.
Many children can find themselves in a private fostering situation – where a child under the age of 16 (18 if disabled) lives with someone other than a parent, grandparent, biological aunt or uncle or sibling.
If a child lives with someone other than the above family members for a period of 28 days or more then they are privately fostered.
Many people confuse fostering and private fostering. They are not the same as the children involved in private fostering arrangements are not children in care. These involve private arrangements between families.
Common examples of private fostering are a teenager who moves in with their boyfriend/girlfriend/friend’s family because they are not getting on with their own family; or a child who comes to the UK from abroad and their parents have decided it would be best for the child to live with a family friend.
Everybody has a role in keeping our children safe – whether you are a nurse, teacher, youth worker, neighbour or friend.
If you hear about a child who is being privately fostered please inform the council immediately so it can ensure the child is being kept safe and offer support.
If not, the children and families miss out on essential welfare checks and other support services. Privately fostering a child is always a big responsibility, which the local authority has a duty to oversee.
To book a place on the workshop or to notify Thurrock Council of a private fostering arrangement, contact the fostering team on 01375 652615 / 0800 652 1256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org