Council warning over fostering

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DONCASTER Council is warning the public that if you are looking after someone else’s child for more than 28 days you need to let the authority know.

This is known as a private fostering arrangement, and applies to any child or young person under the age of 16 (or 18 if disabled) who is living with somebody other than a parent or close relative (grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or step parent) for more than 28 days.

This week, 20 – 26 February is national Private Fostering Week, and councils up and down the country are urging people to let them know about private fostering arrangements.

Chris Pratt, Director of the Children and Young People’s Service, said: “We really need people to let us know about private fostering arrangements.

“The aim is not for us to make changes to the arrangements but simply to offer help and support, and make sure that people are getting the benefits that they are entitled to.

“We know that a lot of the time private fostering is the best solution for a young person.”

He added: “There are many reasons why children are looked after by somebody else. It might be as a result of a family crisis, such as a parent going into hospital or prison and a neighbour or friend is required to step in and help look after the children.

“It could also be that a young person has fallen out with their parents and moved in with a friend’s family. It may have been intended as a short term arrangement but if it lasts for longer than 28 days please tell us.”

Residents can find out more or notify the council of a private fostering arrangement by calling 01302 737777 or visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/privatefostering