Directors say new system could fail

Social services will not be able to meet the demands of the
enhanced private fostering notification system proposed by the
government without additional resources, the Association of
Directors of Social Services warned this week.

The ADSS makes the comments in its submission to a government
consultation document on the system which fails to mention

Andrew Christie, children’s trust director at Hammersmith and
Fulham Council and the lead on the ADSS’s submission, said that the
draft guidance on private fostering included in the consultation
document should include a judgment on the resource implications for
local authorities.

He added that additional funding was essential to make the new
notification system work in the way the government intended.
Christie also described the guidance as “too cumbersome”. “If it is
going to be used by very busy people, it has got to be much more
accessible,” he said.

The national minimum standards for private fostering, also included
in the document, state that when a council visits a privately
fostered child, they should be seen alone unless that is thought

The Fostering Network’s submission states that this should be
strengthened to say there must be a good justified reason for not
seeing a child alone.

The Children Act 2004 places requirements on councils to enforce
the notification system but allows for the introduction of a full
register of private foster carers if this is seen not to be working
within four years.

  • Consultation document

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