Private fosters carers face prosecution over unregistered children

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 December 2017

Barking Town Hall. Picture: Alex Shaw

Barking Town Hall. Picture: Alex Shaw

Alex Shaw

Guardians of children in private fostering arrangements risk prosecution if they do not register with the council.

Approximately 20,000 children in the UK live in these agreements, made between carers and parents, but fewer than half of arrangements are listed.

Barking and Dagenham Council says anyone currently caring for another’s child who is under 16 years old, or 18 if disabled, for longer than 28 days is “privately fostering” and must tell them straight away.

“The council has a duty of care and we want to ensure that the child is being cared for in the right way,” said Cllr Maureen Worby, cabinet member for social care and health integration.

“We are sending out a strong message that people may be prosecuted if they fail to notify the council.”

By law, those providing care for the child, as well as the child’s parent, must inform the council of the arrangement at least six weeks before it begins.

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