If you are aged 16 or under and living with someone who is not your parent, legal guardian or close relative, you are being privately fostered.
An estimated 10,000 young people are currently being privately fostered across England and Wales, but many private foster carers are unaware of the legal obligations that come with the role.
To raise awareness of Private Fostering, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is taking part in Private Fostering week, which runs from 21st February until 28th February and aims to raise awareness of the legal requirements associated with making these arrangements.
Although this is a private arrangement there are special rules about how the child is looked after. Rhondda Cynon Taf Council must be told about the arrangements and visit to check on the child’s welfare; failure to do this could not only put a child in danger, but could result in up to a £1000 fine.
Private Fostering occurs for many reasons: illness, work relocation, relationship problems, behavioural issues or possibly bereavement. In most cases the time apart can lead to a stronger, healthier and happier relationship between parent and child.
Councillor Annette Davies, Cabinet Member for Children and Equality, said: “It is extremely important that parents notify the Council if they enter into a Private Fostering arrangement. Although in many cases the placements are successful, some children are put in very vulnerable positions that could result in them being harmed, physically and or emotionally. The Council is here to help you ensure your child is in a safe, happy environment, while you take the time you need to work through the difficulties you may face.”
If you have or are considering arranging a Private Fostering placement for your child, or if you know that a child has been privately fostered, or if you are a child being privately fostered, please contact the Council on 01443 490400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk for further information.