Flintshires invisible children
Flintshire County Council’s social services is joining forces with local
authorities across Wales this week from 15 -21 September to raise awareness of
children who are living away from their parents, staying with friends and
distant relatives and unknown to the local authority.
Local authorities in Wales are calling on residents and anyone working with
children to inform their local Council if they know of a child living away from
home. Known as private fostering, these are private arrangements made by
parents for someone to care for their child or when young teenagers stay with
friends due to arguments at home, which turns into a more permanent situation.
Privately fostered children are particularly vulnerable because of their
invisibility to authorities and Social Services for Children are receiving a
very low number of notifications of children living away from home.
Jenny White, Private Fostering Social Worker, Flintshire County Council said:
“In Flintshire we have received eight referrals this year, but we know there
must be many more children out there; living away from home. Many people do not
realise that it is the law to inform the Council if you are aware of a private
“The Council will make sure the child is safe, arrange for carers to receive
medical consent for emergencies, support the child to keep in touch with their
family, ensure they are attending school, and provide the private foster carer
with financial advice such as how to claim child benefit.
“In Flintshire, many of the children we are helping are young teenage girls who
have left home due to arguments with their parents. We are able to support them
and their carers with financial advice, general support and to stay safe.”
If you would like to discuss a child’s circumstances in confidence, please call
Flintshire County Council Social Services on 01352 701000 - option 1.
Private fostering could be:
- a child or young person from overseas staying with a UK host family for
educational or health reasons
- a child or young person unable to live with their family for a period of
time, for example due to ill health of parents, parental work commitments or
- a teenager who has run away from home and staying with her friends family
It is not private fostering when children live with, and are cared for by,
their aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, grandparents or step-parents