Children from Abroad

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

DfE, Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Child Victims of Modern Slavery: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities

For information on Modern Slavery, please see Modern Slavery Procedure.

For information on Trafficking children from abroad, see Safeguarding Children who may have been Trafficked Procedure.

Lincolnshire Children's Services Procedures Manual, Lincolnshire's Operation Innerste Process (Local Resources/Forms in All Children | UASC & EU Citizens Section)

NOTE

This chapter will continue to be updated as UK immigration legislation continues to change following the UK's exit from the EU.

AMENDMENT

This Chapter was updated in October 2022 to include a link to Lincolnshire Children's Services Procedures Manual, Lincolnshire's Operation Innerste Process (Local Resources/Forms in All Children | UASC & EU Citizens Section) within the Relevant Guidance section.

1. Introduction

Large numbers of children arrive into this country from overseas every day. Many of these children do so legally in the care of their parents and do not raise any concerns for statutory agencies. However, recent evidence indicates that many children are arriving into the UK:

  • In the care of adults who, whilst they may be their carers, have no parental responsibility for them;
  • In the care of adults who have no documents to demonstrate a relationship with the child;
  • Alone;
  • In the care of agents.

These children may be exposed to the additional risk of commercial, sexual or domestic exploitation.

Immigration Legislation impacts significantly on work under the Children Act 1989 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people from abroad. This guidance refers to the current legal framework but it is important to note that regulations and legislation in this area of work are complex and subject to constant change through legal challenge etc. The guidance intends only to reflect broadly the additional issues faced by families operating also within the context of immigration law. All practitioners need to be aware of this context to their contact with such families. Legal advice on individual cases will usually be required by Social Services.

Children from abroad are children who arrive in the UK with or to be with carers without parental responsibility. They may have leave to enter the country or visas or may be in the UK unlawfully and they may have trafficked (see Safeguarding Children who may have been Trafficked Procedure). Children's Services will have responsibilities towards them if the child is assessed to be in need, and support and accommodation can be provided by Children's Services for the child, and may also be provided for the family if otherwise the family would be destitute. In addition Children's Services will have responsibilities to the child if he or she is Privately Fostered, where this can be evidenced through signed paperwork and ensuring correspondence has been issued. For further guidance please see Children Living Away from Home Procedure, Private Fostering.

If a Child enters the UK without a parent or carer and is considered an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker, Children's Service have a duty to undertake an assessment of need and the children, if unaccompanied, will become looked after under S20. These children will also become Care Leavers. Evidence shows that unaccompanied children or those accompanied by someone who is not their parent are particularly vulnerable. The children and many of their carers will need assistance to ensure that the child receives adequate care and accesses health and education services.

Section 4.18 and 4.19 of the Independent Reviewing Officers Handbook (2010) cites that it is essential that any planning takes into account cultural, language and religious issues alongside wider asylum and immigration considerations as part of its plan to meet the child's needs, in addition to all the other needs the child has as a looked after child.

2. Purpose

The purpose of this guidance is to assist staff in all agencies to:

  • Understand the issues which can make children from abroad particularly vulnerable;
  • Identify children from abroad who may be in need, including those who may be in need of protection;
  • Know what action to take in accordance with their responsibilities.

As with any guidance, it is not intended to provide the answer to all situations. No practitioner or agency holds all of the knowledge; the groups of children and families change and our knowledge of specific issues is developing.

3. Principles

There are some key principles underpinning practice within all agencies in relation to unaccompanied children from abroad or those accompanied by someone who does not hold parental responsibility. These are:

  • Never lose sight of the fact that children from abroad are children first - this can often be forgotten in the face of legal and cultural complexities, including focussing on immigration issues. Professional curiosity is needed and practitioners should be mindful of the Modern Slavery Procedure and the Safeguarding Children who may have been Trafficked Procedure;
  • Children arriving from abroad who are unaccompanied or accompanied by someone who is not their parent should be assumed to be children in need unless assessment indicates that this is not the case. The assessment of need should include a separate discussion with the child in a setting where, as far as possible, they feel able to talk freely;
  • Assessing the needs of these children is only possible if their legal status, background experiences and culture are understood, including the culture shock of arrival in this country;
  • Be prepared to actively seek out information from other sources;
  • Children from Abroad may find it difficult to talk about their experiences, tell anyone what has happened to them or identify themselves as potential victims. This situation may greatly effect children's emotional, physical and overall psychological development. As part of any assessments and on-going intervention, CS practitioners will need to be professionally curious and explore the child's situation fully to enable the risk to be identified, understood and responded to appropriately.

In addition to these key principles, consideration should also be given to:

  • Perceptions of Authority, the role of the Police in particular, and the level of fear which may be generated;
  • The additional implications for a family where deportation is a real threat of deciding to prosecute;
  • Balancing the impact of separation on a child with the likely history of separation/disruption;
  • Judgements about child care practices in the context of such different cultural backgrounds and experiences.

4. The Status of Children who Arrive from Abroad and Legal Duties Towards them

Children who arrive in the UK alone or who are left at a port of entry by an agent invariably have no right of entry and are unlawfully present. They are likely to be in a position to claim asylum and this should be arranged as soon as possible if appropriate. They are the responsibility of the Social Services Department to support until they are 18 years of age, under section 17 or section 20 of the Children Act 1989. If their asylum claim is not resolved before they reach 18 years old, support after the age of 18 years is provided jointly by UK Visas and Immigration Support and Social Services.

Children who arrive in the UK with or to be with carers without parental responsibility have leave to enter the country or visas or may be in the UK unlawfully. Children's Services will have responsibilities towards them if the child is assessed to be in need, and support and accommodation can be provided by Children's Services for the child, and may also be provided for the family if otherwise the family would be destitute. In addition Children's Services will have responsibilities to the child if he or she is Privately Fostered. However, If close relatives care for the child, Private Fostering Regulations may not apply. N.B. A child will not be within the definition of a privately fostered child unless the parents or a person with Parental Responsibility has agreed to the arrangement and this can be evidenced (see Section 5, Identification and Initial Action). Whether or not a child is privately fostered, he or she should still be regarded as a Child in Need on the basis that there is no-one with Parental Responsibility to look after him or her.

Under the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, the UK Visas and Immigration has a Statutory Duty to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children. Statutory guidance was issued in November 2009 for the UK Visas and Immigration on making arrangements to fulfil this duty.

Some children who arrive in the UK with their parents belong to families of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals migrating into the UK. Such families cannot be supported by Social Services except for the provision of return travel (and associated accommodation). If such families decide to stay and seek further help, Social Services still has responsibilities towards any child who is in need, including to provide accommodation for the child alone. Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) practice is to declare such families ordinarily resident after 3 months and to pay benefits. Social Services remains in the position that services may only be provided direct to the child alone.

5. Identification and Initial Action

Whenever any professional comes across a child who they believe has recently moved into this country the following basic information should be sought:

  • Confirmation of the child's identity and immigration status;
  • Confirmation of the carer's relationship with the child and immigration status;
  • Confirmation of the child's health and education arrangements in this country.

This should be done in a way which is as unthreatening to the child and carer.

If this information indicates that the child has come from overseas and is being cared for by an unrelated adult or one whose relationship is uncertain, Children's Social services should be notified in order that an assessment can be undertaken.

If this information indicates that the child may have been trafficked and therefore a victim of Modern Day Slavery, Children's Social Services and the police should be notified, in accordance with the Safeguarding Children who may have been Trafficked Procedure.

The immigration status of a child and his/her family has implications for the statutory responsibilities towards the family. It governs what help, if any, can be provided to the family and how help can be offered to the child. Section 11, Legal Status provides information about the most relevant aspects of this legislation. Where families are subject to Immigration legislation which precludes support to the family, many will disappear into the community and wait until benefits can be awarded to them. During this interim period the children may suffer particular hardship - e.g. live in overcrowded and unsuitable conditions and with no access to health or educational services. They are particularly vulnerable to exploitation because of their circumstances.

6. Establishing the Child's Identity and Age

Statutory guidance on the care of unaccompanied children states that: Age assessments should only be carried out where there is significant reason to doubt that the claimant is a child. Age assessments should not be a routine part of a local authority's assessment of unaccompanied or trafficked children. (See Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery Statutory guidance for local authorities (DfE))

Where the age of the child is uncertain and there are reasons to believe they are a child the person will be presumed to be a child in order to receive immediate assistance, support and protection in accordance with section 51 Modern Slavery Act 2015. Assessments must be undertaken in accordance with standards established in case law and should only be carried out where there is reason to doubt that the individual is the age they claim. For further guidance see: Age Assessment Guidance published by ADCS. In all cases where a referral is received concerning an unaccompanied child, the relevant Team will carry out an Assessment in accordance with the Assessment Procedure, to determine whether he or she is a Child in Need.

7. Parental Responsibility

The Children Act 1989 is built around the concept of "parental responsibility". This legal framework provides the starting point for considering who has established rights, responsibility and duties towards a child.

In some cultures child rearing is a shared responsibility between relatives and members of the community. Adults may bring children to this country whom they have cared for most of their lives, but who may be unrelated or "distantly" related.

An adult whose own immigration status is unresolved cannot apply for a residence order to secure a child for whom he/she is caring.

Children whose parents' whereabouts are not known have no access to their parents for consent when making important choices about their life. Whilst their parents still have parental responsibility they have no way of exercising it.

Children who do not have someone with parental responsibility caring for them can still attend school, and schools should be pragmatic in allowing the carer to make most decisions normally made by the parent.

Such children are entitled to health care and have a right to be registered with a GP. If there are difficulties in accessing a GP, the local Patient's Services should be contacted to assist.

Emergency life-saving treatment would be given if required. However, should the child need medical treatment such as surgery or invasive treatment in a non life-threatening situation, the need for consent would become an issue and legal advice would be required.

Social Services has statutory duties where the child is deemed privately fostered. See Section 11, Legal Status, Private Fostering.

Carers/parents are not eligible to claim benefits for their child unless they have both been granted some form of "leave to remain" in this country by the Home Office.

8. How to Seek Information From Abroad

Seeking information from abroad should be a routine part of assessing the situation of an unaccompanied child. Professionals from all key agencies - e.g. Health, Education, Social Services and the Police - should all be prepared to request information from their equivalent agencies in the country(ies) in which a child has lived, in order to gain as full as possible a picture of the child's previous circumstances.

It is worth noting that agencies abroad tend to respond quicker to e-mail requests/ faxed requests than by letter. Similarly, the Internet may provide a quick source of information to locate appropriate services abroad.

Sources of Information

  1. Documentation held by the child/family.
    The child/family may have documentation from their previous country such as benefit letter, ID cards, GP or hospital letters, letters from other social services departments;
  2. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020-7008 1500;
  3. The appropriate Embassy or Consulate.
    The London Diplomatic List, ISBN 0 11 591772 1 can be obtained from the Stationery Office on 0870 - 600 -5522 or from the FCO website. It contains information about all the Embassies based in London;
  4. International directory enquires dial 155.
    Ask for main Town Hall number as they will have details of local offices. This can be useful where an address in a town abroad is known;
  5. Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB).

    Advice Line: 020 7735-8941 Reception: 020 7735 8941 Fax: 020 7582 0696
    E-mail: info@cfab.org.uk
    Address: CFAB, Canterbury Court, Unit 1.03,1-3 Brixton Rd, London, SW9 6DE.

N.B. Lincolnshire Social Services Directorate have registered with CFAB, who are able to carry out a number of tracing, information exchange and assessment tasks in a large number of countries. Charges apply to these services.

9. Assessment

Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018, sets out Principles and Parameters for completing a good Assessment

When completing Assessments with children who may have been victims of Modern Day Slavery, including human trafficking and/ or Children from abroad, additional consideration should be given to certain factors. Some, but not all, of these factors may only be relevant to those children from abroad, including those trafficked children.

During the assessment phase, give consideration to the completion of a Child Exploitation Screening Tool, to explore the wider issues relating to their exploitation with the young person which will strengthen your assessment and give consideration to the appropriateness of a discussion at MACE where targeting of perpetrators or locations of concern and the disruption of exploitation can be tasked across partners.

Operation Insignia is a multi-agency system of sharing information with Lincolnshire Police. The form can be found at LSCP Partnership Information Report.

The first contact with the child and/or carers is crucial to the engagement with the family and the promotion of trust which underpins the future support, advice and services. Particular sensitivities which may be present include:

  • Anxiety raised by professionals asking similar questions to ones previously asked;
  • Lack of understanding of the separate role of social services, that it is not an extension of police;
  • Lack of understanding of why an assessment needs to be carried out;
  • Previous experience of being asked questions under threat or torture, or seeing that happen to someone else;
  • Past Trauma;
  • Past Regime/ experiences can impact upon the child's mental and physical health. This experience can make concerns from the Authorities about minor injury or poor living conditions seem trivial and this mismatch may add to the fear and uncertainty.

When the Assessment is being completed in regards to Children from Abroad, including Trafficked Children from abroad, there may also be additional concerns to consider:

  • Concerns around immigration status;
  • Fear of being sent back to own country;
  • The journey itself as well as the previous living situation may have been the source of trauma;
  • The shock of Arrival;
  • The alien culture, system and language can cause shock and uncertainty, and can affect mood, behaviour and presentation.

Reluctance to divulge information, fear, confusion or memory loss can easily be mistaken for lack of co-operation, deliberate withholding of information or untruthfulness.

The first task of the initial contact is engagement; open questions are most helpful, with a clear emphasis on reassurance and simple explanations of the role and reasons for assessment. If the "engagement" with the family is good there are more likely to be opportunities to expand on the initial contact, as trust is established

  • The assessment has to address not only the barriers which arise from any cultural, linguistic and religious differences, but also the particular sensitivities which come from the experiences of many such children and families;
  • The needs of the child have to be considered based on an account given by the child or family about a situation which the professional has neither witnessed nor experienced. In addition it may be presented in a language, and about a culture and way of life with which the professional is totally unfamiliar or has only basic knowledge about;
  • It is vital that the services of an interpreter are employed in the child's first language and that care is taken to ensure that the interpreter knows the correct dialect. If that interpreter shares more than a common language, and are professionally trained, they can sometimes be a rich source of information about traditions, politics and history of the area from which the child has arrived. They may be able to advise on issues like the interpretation of body language and emotional expression.

Where the assessment is being completed in regards to a Child from Abroad, within the first contact with the child and carer(s) it is however also vital not to presume that the child's views are the same as their carer, or that the views and needs of each child are the same. Seeing each child alone is crucial, particularly to check out the stated relationships with the person accompanying them. (Someone allegedly from the same place of origin should have a similar knowledge of the place, for example). Clearly the professional is going to be seen as in "power" and as such a child may believe that they must "get it right" when they may not wholly understand the system or even the question. The speed of the interviewing of a child should aim to be at the speed appropriate to the child, although the need to ensure that the child is safe may become paramount in some circumstances.

Some core questions to be addressed are included in Appendix 1: Guidance on Questions to ask Potential Carers of Children From Abroad who do not Clearly Have Parental Responsibility.

Child's Developmental Needs

Things to bear in mind include:

  • Health, behaviour and social presentation can be affected by trauma and loss. Famine and poverty can have an impact upon development;
  • Wider health needs may need to be considered, including HIV, Hepatitis B and C and TB. (this applies to the parent/carer also);
  • Education. What has school meant to this child?
  • Self care skills. Not to judge competence by comparing with a child of the same age in this country. This child may have had to be very competent in looking after themselves on the journey but unable to do other basic tasks. In some countries some children will have been working or have been involved in armed conflict. Loss of a parent can enhance or deprive a child of certain skills. Having had to overcome extreme adversity can result in a child who is either deeply troubled or both resourceful and resilient;
  • Identity. Who is this child? What is their sense of themselves, their family, community, tribe, race, history?
  • Physical appearance. Life experience and trauma can affect this. Lack of nourishment may make the child present as younger or older;
  • Perceptions of what constitutes disability are relative and attitudes towards disabled children may be very different;
  • The impact of racism on the child's self image and the particular issues currently faced by asylum seeking children and their families.

Parenting Capacity

Things to bear in mind include:

  • War, famine and persecution can make a family mobile. The family may have moved frequently in order to keep safe. The stability of the family unit might be more important to the child than stability of place. Judgements that mobility may equate with inability to provide secure parenting may be entirely wrong. In some countries regular migration to deal with exhaustion of the land is part of the culture;
  • The fact that a child seems to have been given up by a parent may not imply rejection, as the motive may have been to keep the child safe or seek better life chances for him/her;
  • Talking about parents/ family can be stressful and painful - as can not being given the chance to do so regularly;
  • Importance of the extended family/community rather than focusing on Europe and its traditional view of family;
  • Not to presume that you cannot contact a parent who is living abroad unless you have established that this is the case by actively seeking to do so;
  • Lack of toys for a child may indicate poverty or different cultural norms rather than poor parenting capacity to provide stimulation;
  • The destructive impact on parenting capacity of racism against asylum seekers;
  • The additional issues of parenting a child conceived through rape - either dealing with the negative response of the partner or with the stress of keeping it secret from him.

Family and Environmental Factors

The importance of economic and social hardship is apparent. In addition there may be issues such as:

  • Family history and functioning may include the loss of previous high status as well as periods of destitution;
  • Different concepts of who are/have been important family members and what responsibility is normally assumed by the whole community, e.g. who a child should reasonably be left with.

Appendix 1: Guidance on Questions to ask Potential Carers of Children From Abroad who do not Clearly Have Parental Responsibility

10. Children in Need of Protection

Where assessment indicates that a child may be in need of protection and child protection procedures apply, additional factors need to be taken into account. These dilemmas include such things as:

  • Perceptions of Authority, the role of the Police in particular, and the level of fear which may be generated;
  • The additional implications for a family where deportation is a real threat of deciding to prosecute;
  • Balancing the impact of separation on a child with the likely history of separation/disruption;
  • Judgements about child care practices in the context of such different cultural backgrounds and experiences.

Children who arrive in the UK alone or who are left at a port of entry by an agent invariably have no right of entry and are unlawfully present. They are likely to be in a position to claim asylum and this should be arranged as soon as possible if appropriate.

The assistance and support that Local Authorities can provide to children and their families, is defined by Legislation.

Schedule 3 of The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 defines the five categories of person who are ineligible for support and assistance under:

  • Sections 17, 23C, 24A and 24B of the Children Act 1989;
  • Part 1 of the Care Act 2014 (but a local authority is not restricted from carrying out an assessment, meeting urgent needs pending assessment, providing information and advice, or to general prevention measures where these may apply to a person in a category below who is otherwise excluded from support. See Practice Guidance for Local Authorities (England) which has been updated to clarify this point);
  • Section 1 of the Localism Act 2011 (local authority's general power of competence);
  • Section 188(3) and section 204 of the Housing Act 1996 (interim accommodation pending the outcome of a section 202 review and accommodation pending the outcome of a section 204 county court appeal).

The Home Office allows for limited forms of assistance to be given by local authorities to some families and this could be in the form of:

  • Travel assistance to leave the UK to people with dependents under 18 years;
  • Temporary accommodation to people with dependents under 18 years awaiting the implementation of their travel arrangements;
  • Temporary accommodation to people in category d. with dependents under 18 who are awaiting instructions for removal.

Where children who arrive in the UK with their parents are part of a family who are migrating to the UK, the entitlement to any support from Social Services will dependent on their country of origin and what arrangements the UK has with these countries. The individual family circumstances should be fully explored and specialist guidance should be sought from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to establish their rights and entitlements, including if the family have Recourse to Public Funds. If a person of parent is not entitled to social services support, social services may need to carry out a Human Rights Assessment to establish whether help can be given.

The local authority still has the following duties towards all children, young people and families regardless of their status and is inclusive of children and young people who are unaccompanied:

  • To carry out a Child in Need Assessment for all children under 18 years old who are in families, where there may be concerns about a child/children's welfare and/or safety under the Children Act 1989. (Including any issues that may indicate that the child is or has been trafficked or a victim of compulsory labour, servitude and slavery). Children Services Practitioners should refer to additional guidance on completing Assessments in these circumstances. Appendix 1: Guidance on Questions to ask Potential Carers of Children From Abroad who do not Clearly Have Parental Responsibility
  • To carry out a Child in Need Assessment for all 'separated' children under the age of 18 and to provide them with services in line with needs identified under the Children Act 1989;
  • To carry out an assessment of an adult for community care services under the Care Act 2014 here the adult's need for such services have not arisen solely due to destitution and/or to avoid a breach of the adult's human rights which would otherwise occur if no services were provided.

If the local authority does not have a duty towards the child, however there are concerns in regards to family requiring support in regards to legal status/ entitlements etc. the family should be directed to appropriate local and national advice and support services.

Private Fostering - Under section 67 of the Children Act 1989 a local authority is under a duty to satisfy itself that the welfare of children who are privately fostered within their area is being satisfactorily safeguarded and promoted and to secure that such advice is given to those caring for them as the authority believes to be needed. (See Children Living Away from Home Procedure, Private Fostering).

Relevant Pieces of Legislation

Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (NIA)

The offence of trafficking for prostitution introduced in the above Act carries a tough maximum penalty of 14 years. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced new wide ranging offences covering trafficking into, out of or within the UK for any form of sexual offence. It also introduced a range of new offences covering the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Section 54 of the NIA is intended to discourage the concept of 'benefit shopping' within Europe. It is retrospective and applies to anyone who comes within the categories set out below. This is not dependent on the length of time they have been in the UK.

The Act has the effect of preventing local authorities from providing support under certain provisions, including section 21 of the National assistance Act and section 17 of the Children Act, to:

  • Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) States (other than UK);
  • Those with refugee status in another EEA state;
  • Persons unlawfully present in the UK who are not asylum seekers, including those who have overstayed visa entry limit and those without confirmation of ELR/ILR leave to remain;
  • Failed asylum seekers who refuse to cooperate with removal directions.

Section 55 applies to those who have made or are intending to make an asylum claim in the UK. It prevents NASS from providing asylum support unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person applied for asylum as soon as reasonably practicable after arrival in the UK. Families with dependent children will, however, receive asylum support even if they did not apply as soon as reasonably practicable.

Section 55 does not apply to unaccompanied minors.

Those who have not yet officially lodged an asylum claim can be offered assistance with accommodation (usually overnight) and travel to Immigration and Nationality Directorate Public Caller Unit (IND) by social services in order to register the claim with the Home Office. Family can then access NASS support via Refugee Action once IND has accepted the claim and provided written confirmation of this.

See Modern Slavery Act 2015 and Home Office Circular - Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Private Fostering

Under section 67 of the Children Act 1989 a local authority is under a duty to satisfy itself that the welfare of children who are privately fostered within their area is being satisfactorily safeguarded and promoted and to secure that such advice is given to those caring for them as the authority believes to be needed.

'A privately fostered child' means a child who is under the age of sixteen (eighteen if disabled) and who is cared for, and provided with accommodation in their own home by, someone other than:

  1. A parent of his;
  2. A person who is not a parent of his but who has parental responsibility for him; or
  3. A relative of his.

A child is not a privately fostered child if the person caring for and accommodating him:

  1. Has done so for a period of less than 28 days; and
  2. Does not intend to do so for any longer period.

A child is not a privately fostered child while:

  1. He is being looked after by a local authority;
  2. He is in the care of any person in premises in which any
    1. Parent of his;
    2. Person who is not a parent of his but who has parental responsibility for him; or
    3. Person who is a relative of his and who has assumed responsibility for his care, is for the time being living;
  3. He is in accommodation provided by or on behalf of any voluntary organisation;
  4. In any school in which he is receiving full-time education;
  5. In any health service hospital;
  6. In any care home or independent hospital;
  7. In any home or institution not specified above but provided, equipped and maintained by the Secretary of State;

    c. To g. do not apply where the person caring for the child is doing so in his personal capacity and not in the course of carrying out his duties in relation to the establishment mentioned in the paragraph in question;

  8. In the care of any person in compliance with an order under section 63(1) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000; or a supervision requirement within the meaning of Part II of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995;
  9. He is liable to be detained, or subject to guardianship, under the Mental Health Act 1983;
  10. He is placed in the care of a person who proposes to adopt him under arrangements made by an adoption agency or he is a protected child.

A child who is a pupil at a school, and lives at the school during the holidays for more than two weeks, is under 16 and none of the above exemptions apply is regarded as a private foster child during that time.

The usual fostering limit applies to private fostering.

A carer, who is disqualified from being a private foster carer or who lives with someone else who is disqualified, cannot privately foster without the consent of the local authority. There is a right of appeal against the refusal of consent.

A local authority is empowered to prohibit a carer from being a private foster carer if they are of the opinion that:

  1. The carer is not a suitable person to foster a child; or
  2. The premises in which the child is, or will be accommodated, are not suitable; or
  3. It would be prejudicial to the welfare of the child to be, or continue to be, accommodated by that carer in those premises.

A prohibition may prevent the carer fostering anywhere in the area, restrict fostering to specific premises, or restrict fostering a particular child in those premises. There is a right of appeal against the imposition of a condition.

The local authority may also impose requirements on a carer affecting.

  1. The number, age and sex of the children to be fostered;
  2. The standard of accommodation and equipment;
  3. Health and safety arrangements;
  4. Specific arrangements for the children to be fostered.

The local authority must be given notice of the placement by both the parent and the carer and any other person involved in its arrangement.

The local authority must be satisfied as to the suitability of each arrangement notified to it.

Regulations prescribe the frequency that a privately fostered child should be visited. Where a local authority is not satisfied that the welfare of a privately fostered child is being satisfactorily safeguarded or promoted it must take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure the care of the child is undertaken by a parent, a holder of parental responsibility, or a relative (unless not in the interests of the child to do so) and consider exercising its functions under the Children Act 1989.

Appendix 1: Guidance on Questions to ask Potential Carers of Children From Abroad who do not Clearly Have Parental Responsibility

12. Additional Guidance and Support

NRPF Network

Trafficked Children (Barnardos)

Appendix 1: Guidance on Questions to ask Potential Carers of Children From Abroad who do not Clearly Have Parental Responsibility

Appendix 1: Guidance on Questions to ask Potential Carers of Children From Abroad who do not Clearly Have Parental Responsibility