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Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Special Interest Group for Private Fostering

Mission statement








Mission Statement

In an ideal world children should be brought up in their own family home and community. Children in private foster care are particularly vulnerable. In recognition that the needs of a considerable number of children in private foster care are not being met, promoting and safeguarding the health and welfare of private foster children should be paramount to all relevant professionals, parents and carers.



The survey undertaken by Save the Children’s African Family Advisory Services in 1989 gave grounds for estimating that there are between 7,000 and 9,000 West African children in private foster care in the UK, although the Department of Health figures show only about 2,000. The AFAS research, and health visitor’s experience indicate that children who are privately fostered are at risk of neglect and abuse, and long term damage to their emotional development and identity.



To raise awareness of the problems arising from private fostering in the UK and to explore strategies which can be evolved in order to have a co-ordinated approach with other agencies, organisations and individuals working in partnership to tackle these issues.



1) To raise awareness of
- all professionals in primary care groups, education and social services
- parents
- private foster carers about identified issues, ensuring that Race , Religion , Language and Culture are addressed.

2) To keep the CPHVA and Department of Health informed of identified issues through the activities of the group.

3) To help ensure that the legislation and guidance of the 1989 Children Act on private fostering is implemented and regularly evaluated.

4) To develop policy and practice relating to private fostering Locally and Nationally.

5) To share professional concerns and expertise about private fostering.

6) To develop health visiting and school nursing standards for children in private foster care, or who are likely to be privately fostered.

7) To encourage collaborative work with health and social workers in relation to private fostering.

8) To encourage liaison between sending and receiving health authorities and SSDs.

9) To set up local registers of privately fostered children and to monitor movements of children

10) To actively Promote Registration of Private Fostering.

PF/ SIG Reviewed May 1999.


Activities of the Group

- Quarterly Network meetings
- Raising awareness through Seminar presentations/ Conference
- Contribution to working documents eg ‘Working together to Safeguard children’; ‘Review of the Safeguard for Children Living Away from home’; ‘UK Joint Working Party on Fostercare Consultation Document on National Standards in Foster care’.
- Development work in Local Trust
- Representation on child care organisation eg BAAF, National Foster care Association


Good Practice Procedures


- Good Practice Procedures for Health Visitors & School Nurses 1996/1999
- Caring for Other People’s Children (Sponsored by the DOH) A guide for Private Foster Carers - Compiled by the PFSIG Ed by Daphne Batty, BAAF 1995.
- Your Child and Foster Care (Consultation) A guide for Birth Parents considering Private Fostering -Daphne Batty with Pete Wrighton BAAF 1996.
- Private Fostering (Chapter 2) in The Companion to Foster Care Ed. By Ann Wheal. Russell House Publishing 1999.
- For morePortfolio of Innovative Practice in Primary Health Care Nursing and Midwifery.



Chair -
Mawbey Brough Health Centre,
39 Wilcox Close, London, SW 8 2UD
Tel. 020 7926 5896
Vice Chair - Leo Garwe
Thornton Health Health Centre, 61A, Gillett Road
Thornton Heath,Surrey
Tel:020 8684 2424
Secretary -
Mawbey Brough Health Centre,
39, Willcox Close, London, SW 8 2UD
Tel. 020 8243 2200