13 Private fostering
Progress to date
- Following the publication of the ' Getting it right for every child in foster care and kinship care' national strategy document by the Scottish Government in 2007, the Scottish Government asked the Care Inspectorate to pay particular attention, during the 2008-09 inspection period, to private fostering arrangements and to make recommendations on how these should be best addressed. The report, 'Private fostering - the unknown arrangement?', published in March 2010 was the Care Inspectorate's response to that request. The report made nine recommendations and a short-life working group was established to progress these. The group involved representatives from Scottish Government, Care Inspectorate, COSLA, the British Association for Adoption & Fostering and the Fostering Network.
- We have carried out a comparison of English and Scottish legislation and checked with Scottish Government solicitors about any possible changes to legislation. We have concluded that the law is fit for purpose.
- We wrote to Directors of Social Work/Children's Services and Chief Social Work Officers in August 2010 highlighting the report and its recommendations. This resulted in many local authorities adding information to websites on private fostering and linking to the SG leaflet, 'Are you looking after someone else's child?'.
- We have drafted guidance for universal services, highlighting the risk that private fostering arrangements may be used to cover up trafficking of asylum-seeking children and young people. We plan to consult on this in May 2012.
- An awareness-raising campaign is being planned to coincide with the publication of the guidance.