Southwark Council is claiming success with a scheme that gives a one-off payment of £100 to private foster carers who come forward to register their arrangement.
The council said 49 people had come forward to register in the 18 months it had been offering the payment, compared with none over the previous decade.
Private foster carers are legally required to notify councils of any arrangements, under the Children Act 1989. The government increased the monitoring of private fostering after the death of Victoria Climbié, through the Children Act 2004, and since July 2005 councils have been required to promote the duty to notify.
Alongside payments to private foster carers, Southwark’s notification scheme, which is run in partnership with children’s charity NCH, also provides family support.