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Children in Care & Private Fostering

The Children in Care team is responsible for children who are placed in the care of the council because their families can no longer look after them.

The ways children can come into our care:

  • through a voluntary arrangement, where their parents or those with parental responsibility agree to them being placed in our care
  • police powers of protection, where the police are concerned that children are at risk of immediate harm
  • under an interim care order made by a court to place them in care for a period of eight weeks
  • under a care order made by court placing the child in our care

When children come into care, we become their corporate parents. That means we have a responsibility to look after them as if they were our own children.

As the corporate parent, we look after children in care and provide services that:

  • meet their individual needs
  • make sure they’re safe and protected
  • help them grow up healthily
  • help them get a good education
  • help them gain and develop the essential life and social skills they need in adulthood
  • help them reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives

Working alongside the Children in Care team, arrangements for privately fostered children are also managed.

A private fostering arrangement is one that is:

  • made privately, without the involvement of a local authority,
  • for the care of a child under the age of 16 (or under 18, if the child is disabled)
  • for care of the child, provided by someone other than a parent or close relative”

A “close relative” is defined as:

  • Grandparent,
  • Brother or Sister,
  • Uncle or Aunt, or
  • Step-parent;
  • and be a full or half relation by blood or marriage.

If an arrangement is made or proposed with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more (Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005).

This means if a child is cared for, or proposed to be cared for, and provided with accommodation in an arrangement matching the description above; this will constitute a Private Fostering Arrangement.

Personal information collected

  • Name
  • Address and contact details
  • Date of Birth
  • Equalities information
  • NHS Number
  • Employment
  • Support Network
  • Information from the local authority from where you live and previously lived
  • Other agencies Involved
  • Education Information
  • Health Information 
  • Financial Information
  • Criminal/Prosecution Information
  • Housing Information 
  • Family/Relationship Information
  • Immigration status

Who we share information with

  • Police
  • Council social care teams for children and adults
  • UK Border Agency
  • Department for Education
  • Health Agencies (like the NHS or GPs)
  • Probation/Prison Services
  • Council Education Service
  • Housing Providers (like Barnet Homes)
  • Third sector/Voluntary Agencies
  • Other Local Authorities
  • Department for Education
  • Ofsted
  • Judicial Agencies eg Courts

Legislation that applies

  • Children Act 1989
  • The Children and Families Act 2014
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
  • London Child Protection Procedures 2018
  • The Department of Health, Department of Education and Employment and Home Office Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (2000)
  • The Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005
  • National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering 2005

Use of your NHS Number in Children’s Social Care

The NHS may share your NHS number with us. This is so that we are all using the same number to identify you whilst providing your care.  By using the same number the NHS and Children’s social care can work together more closely to improve your care and support.

We will use your NHS number in an integrated care record system across a number of support services including GPs, hospitals, community matrons, district nurses and social care practitioners.

If you wish to opt-out from the use of your NHS Number for social care purposes, please talk with your social worker.

How long we keep your information

100 years for Adoption records

75 years for Children Looked After records

35 years in all other record types.

 

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