NYSCP Private Fostering - North Yorkshire

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Private Fostering

Private Fostering

1.Notification to the Customer Service Centre of proposed arrangement by parent/carerChild looked after by someone other than a’ close relative’ for more than 28 days

A close relative is defined as:
– a grandparent,
– a brother or sister,
– an aunt or an uncle, or
– a step-parent.

Carer who is proposing to look after someone else’s child who is not a close relative

A written notification should be made to the Customer Contact Centre Screening Team at least 6 weeks before the arrangement is due to begin
2.Notification to the Customer Service Centre of existing arrangement or emergency arrangementChild looked after by someone other than a close relative for more than 28 days

Carer who is looking after someone else’s child who is not a close relative

The parents/carer should notify the Customer Contact Centre Screening Team within 48 hours.
3.Notification to the Customer Service Centre by professionalsProfessionals should encourage the child’s parent or carers to notify Children’s Social Care about planned or existing arrangements

Professionals who come into contact with children, like teachers, health staff or Children’s Centre workers  –  must tell Children’s Social Care about all private fostering arrangements they are made aware of
4.Private Fostering and Residential SettingsIf a child is intending to remain in a residential setting outside of term time for more than 14 days, this becomes a private fostering arrangement

Residential settings must notify Children’s Social Care not less than 2 weeks before arrangements begin when it is known that a child will remain resident outside of term time for more than 14 days
5.Assessment of arrangementsA social worker should visit within 7 working days to see:

– the child,
– the child’s parents (if possible),
– the carers, and
– other members of the carer’s household

Assessment will be made about the suitability of the arrangements

DBS checks on all members of the household aged 16 or over
6.Private Fostering Arrangement SuitableA fostering Social Worker is allocated to support the carers and the parents and will maintain a case record

Social Worker will visit the child every 6 weeks during the first year and then every 12 weeks thereafter

Social Worker’s role is to:

– promote the welfare of the child and
– to check that the arrangements are still suitable

The Social Worker should see the child alone on each visit and will write a record of each visit

The Social Worker should make sure the child’s racial, cultural, linguistic and religious needs are being met.
7.Changes in CircumstancesThe carer or parent (person with parental responsibility) should notify Children’s Social Care immediately about any change in circumstances, including:

– if the child changes address
– someone living in the household is convicted of an offence
– or someone joins or leaves the household

The social worker needs to make sure that the child continues to be looked after properly

Carers can be disqualified from privately fostering a child if:

– they have been convicted of any offence involving a child
– they have had a child removed from their care by a court or local authority
– they have had their registration as a child-minder refused or cancelled
– they have been prohibited from privately fostering a child or
– they have been disqualified from acting as a foster carer
8.Private Fostering Arrangements are unsuitableChildren’s Social Care has a number of powers, in addition to their existing powers, to take action to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.

Action may need to be taken to secure the care and accommodation of the child.

Action can include:

– Prohibiting someone from privately fostering children
– Setting limits to how private fosterers care for children
– Some people are not allowed to become private foster carers and
– Others can be prohibited if they are not seen as suitable carers.
9.Impose Requirements or LimitationsChildren’s Social Care can impose requirements on private foster carers including:

– limiting the number of children who can be privately fostered (this should not be more than 3) and
– on the standard of accommodation

Where a person is privately fostering, or proposes to foster privately, more than three children who are not siblings at any one time, then that person needs an exemption from the local authority

If a private foster carer exceeds the usual fostering limit or, where exempted, privately fosters a child not named in the exemption and in so doing exceeds the usual fostering limit the private fosters shall be treated as running a children’s home
10.Prohibition of arrangementsChildren’s Social Care has the power to prohibit a person from privately fostering where

– that person is not suitable
– the accommodation is not suitable
– the child’s welfare would be harmed
– someone has been convicted for offences against children or
– the care of the child is unsatisfactory

Any prohibition must be made in writing, specifying the reasons and contain information about the person’s right of appeal and time in which to do so

The Local Authority may cancel a prohibition if they are satisfied that it is no longer justified

This enables the Local Authority to respond appropriately to matters raised during the process of conducting enquiries into:

– the capacity of the proposed or actual private foster carer to look after the child
– the suitability of their household and premises; or to changes notified by that person
11.Right of appealThe carer does have the right of appeal to the Family Proceedings Court within 14 days
12.Death of a child who is privately fosteredWhere a person ceases to privately foster a child because of the death of the child, they must notify the Local Authority within 48 hours

The Local Authority will ensure that the parent is notified as soon as possible of the death of the child

The local authority may need to assist the private foster carer with the formalities and in any event will need to consider the implications of what has happened

The Local Authority must follow the Child Death procedures outlined within the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership’s procedures

The Local Authority should consider whether the case meets the criteria for a notifiable incident
13.Notification of the End of a private fostering arrangementAny person who ceases to privately foster a child must notify the appropriate local authority within 48 hours

Notification must include:

– the name and address of the person into whose care the child was received, and
– that person’s relationship with the child

The requirement to notify the Local Authority of the cessation of the arrangement does not apply where the private foster carer intends to resume the private fostering arrangement after an interval of not more than 27 days unless:

(a) they subsequently abandons their intention; or
(b) the interval expires without his having given effect to his intention

In such circumstances the private foster carer must notify the local authority within 48 hours of abandoning their intention to continue the arrangement, or the expiry of the interval

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