Do you look after someone else’s child?

Looking after someone else’s child for more than 28 days? Somerset County Council can help and need to know – that is the message from the County Council during national Private Fostering Awareness Week, 7 to 13 July

Many people look after other people’s children for a night or a weekend. But if a child is living with someone – who is not an immediate relative – for more than 28 days, they may be classed as privately fostered.

Somerset County Council is required to know if a child is being privately fostered and can provide practical and emotional support to parents, children and private foster carers. The County Council has a duty to make sure all children in Somerset are safe.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said: “Children become privately fostered for many reasons. For example, if their parents are ill and unable to look after them, if they have fallen out with their parents and are living with someone else, or if their parents are working away from home so they are staying with a friend or neighbour. We are required to know about a private fostering arrangement to make sure the child’s needs are being met. Where appropriate we can support both the private foster carer and the parent in order to help rebuild relationships.

“If you think you might be privately fostering, your child is being privately fostered or you know of an arrangement like this, please let us know, email: childrens@somerset.gov.uk, phone 0845 345 9122 or visit: http://www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk/private-fostering.html

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