Action by Local Authorities/Social Services Departments

Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:30 am ar 20 Tachwedd 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

1. Each authority should address private fostering specifically in its Children's Services Plan.

2. The principles of the Children Act 1989 - including the need to consider a child's religion, race, culture and language - should be incorporated in all local authority guidelines and policies on private fostering.

3. Local authorities should treat private foster carers as part of the spectrum of local childcare and ensure that they are supported and knowledgeable about assistance and benefits to which they may be entitled.

4. Private fostering arrangements should always be the subject of a written contract between parents and foster carers.

5. Written contracts should detail access by the child to the parents and local authorities should satisfy themselves that the amount of contact may allow the child to maintain an attachment to his or her parents. Local authorities should therefore bear in mind their duties under schedule 2 paragraph 10 of the Children Act, to promote contact between children in need living apart from their family and the family.

6. The local authority should satisfy itself that the care will be for a stated period although that can be extended by mutual consent of the parent and the carer. Parents should be informed, in detail and in writing, by the local authority of the possible consequences of private fostering for their children and their relationship with their children.

7. Local authorities that become aware of a private fostered child who has moved from another local authority area with his/her private carer should be required to inform their previous local authority.

8. A local authority which is aware of the intention of a private carer to move outside the area should inform the receiving authority.

9. Professionals, for example, GPs, Health Visitors, Teachers, Housing Officers—should have a duty to inform the social services department when they suspect a child is being privately fostered.