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Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Special Interest Group for Private Fostering

Good Practice Procedures

Health Visitors in Areas where Privately Fostered Children are Identified

Procedures for Health Visitors where Parents are Considering or Using Fostering by Private Arrangement

Procedures for School Nurses in Areas where Privately Fostered Children are Identified


Good Practice Procedures For Health Visitors in Areas where Privately Fostered Children are Identified

1. When a health visitor is aware that a private foster child has been placed with a family she/he should respond as in the charter within five working days.

2. Should make the foster carer aware of her statutory responsibility to notify the SSD, and also to inform the SSD herself.

3. Should obtain home address of the child’s parents, and if possible, information about previous GP and health visitor.

4. Contact previous health visitor and request records.

5. Ensure foster carer has medical consent from parents for routine health care, immunisations and emergencies.

6. An overall assessment should be made, including whether the child’s racial and cultural needs are being met.

7. The health visitor should be aware there is a statutory maximum of three foster children per household, unless an exemption has been given by SS for a sibling group.

8. Provide information on useful publications-
> ‘Caring for other people’s children'

> BAAF leaflet on ‘Private Fostering’
> Your child and foster care’

available from*

9. All health visitor should keep a register of privately fostered children and liaise with SSD

10. Having been notified about the expected arrival of a privately fostered child in your area, and you are unable to make contact, it is essential to liaise with the previous health visitor, and if necessary, invoke missing person and / or child protection procedures.

*Ref: (BAAF) British Agency for Adoption and Fostering
Skyline House, 200 Union Street, London SE1 OLX.
Tel. 0171 593 2072.
PFSIG/ Jul 96.

Good Practice Procedures for Health Visitors where Parents are Considering or Using Fostering by Private Arrangement

1. Begin to discuss the issue of child care / private fostering during the Ante-natal period.

2. Raise the topic again at the New Birth Visit.

3. When Health Visitors are aware that private fostering is being considered, discuss and ensure that parents have access to a copy of ‘Your child and foster care.’

4. Inform parents of their statutory duty to notify receiving SSDs between 13 and 6 weeks prior to placement; and you should also inform SSDs.

5. The parents to inform the health visitor prior to any move.

6. Ensure parents passes Personal Child Health Record, NHS card, and medical consent to private foster carer.

7. Inform parents of their statutory duty to ensure that the child is registered with a GP in the receiving area.

8. Notify and transfer records to the health visitors in the receiving area of placement.

9. Advice on useful sources of information :

>'Caring for other people’s children’

>The BAAF leaflet on ‘Private Fostering’

>‘Your child and foster care’

available from*

10. All health visitors should keep a register of privately fostered children, in and outside the area and liaise with SSD.

11. As privately fostered children and their natural parents can get lost in the system, it is essential to make contact with the next health visitor. Failure to trace the child should result in invoking the missing person and / or child protection procedures.

*Ref : (BAAF) British Agency for Adoption and Fostering
Skyline House, 200 Union Street, London SE1 OLX.
Tel 0171 593 2072.
PFSIG / Jul 96.

Good Practice Procedures for School Nurses in Areas where Privately Fostered Children are Identified

1. At the ‘transfer’ of care from the health visitor to the school nurse, the health visitor should ensure that the school nurse is aware that the child is a privately fostered child.

2. Should make the foster carer aware of her statutory responsibility to notify the SSD, and also to inform the SSD herself.

3. Should obtain home address of the child’s parents, and if possible, information about previous GP, health visitor and school nurse.

4. Contact previous health visitor / school nurse and request records.

5. Ensure foster carer has medical consent from parents for routine health care, immunisations and emergencies.

6. Ensure that during the health interview the child’s racial and cultural needs are being met.

7. The school nurse should be aware there is a statutory maximum of three foster children per household, unless an exemption has been given by SS for a sibling group.

8. Provide information on useful publications for the carer and the school -

>‘Caring for other people’s children'
>BAAF leaflet on ‘Private Fostering
’>Your child and foster care’

available from*

9. All school nurses should keep a register of privately fostered children and liaise with SSD

10. School nurses should aim to raise the awareness of private fostering and the implication for the child, in the school environment (teacher development days).

11. Due to the very vulnerable nature of privately fostered children, if the school nurse has any concerns, these need to be discussed with their nurse specialist child protection /school designated child protection officer and if need be, referred to the local SSD.

*Ref: (BAAF) British Agency for Adoption and Fostering
Skyline House, 200 Union Street, London SE1 OLX. Tel. 0171 593 2072.
PFSIG / Sept 98.

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