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Private Fostering in Scotland - Practice Guidance for Local Authority Children's Services

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4. Context

During the time leading up to the publication of this guidance there were only a very small number of recorded notifications of children living in private fostering arrangements in Scotland. There may be many more un-notified arrangements taking place, and private foster carers may not be aware of their legal obligations to notify the local authority. Of more concern, parents or private foster carers may be deliberately avoiding notifications to local government, perhaps leaving some children in potentially very vulnerable circumstances.

Safeguarding Children who may have been trafficked published by the Scottish Government in 2009, The National Child Protection Guidance published by the Scottish Government in 2010 and Scotland: a safe place for child traffickers? published by the Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People in March 2011 have all made reference to private fostering arrangements as possible situations where children might be more vulnerable to exploitation or child trafficking.