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Fostering and Adoption

Fostering is a way of providing family life for children who cannot live with their own parents.

Fostering is often used to provide temporary care whilst parents receive help to sort out problems, or to help distressed and troubled children and young people through difficult periods in their lives.

Most fostered children remain in contact with their families and eventually return to their own homes. In some cases this cannot happen and the foster carer will help the child or young person prepare for their next move, maybe to move to a permanent foster care placement, or to be adopted, or to begin life as an independent young adult. 

There are many reasons why a child or young person may need foster care. These can include:

  • Their parents are unable to look after them because of physical or mental health problems.
  • A member of the family may have a drug or alcohol related problem that seriously affects the safety and care of the child
  • The child may have been neglected or abused and a decision has been made that is is not safe for the child to stay with the family
  • A young person may be remanded into foster care by the court
  • There are major problems and tensions in the family and regular, brief periods of care for the child or children to enable the family to remain together in the long-term.

Families of a disabled child or children may benefit from short breaks, where the child enjoys time in a new environment and the parents have some time to themselves. 

If you would like to learn more about the fostering service provided by Hartlepool Borough Council visit https://www.hartlepool.gov.uk/what-is-fostering or call (01429) 405588 or email fosterandadopt@hartlepool.gov.uk

Support for Foster Carers 

All Foster Carers have an allocated Social Worker from the Fostering Team known as a Supervising Social Worker.

The role of your Social Worker is to supervise and support you when children/young people are in your care. You will see your Social Worker a minimum of 4 weekly, more if required. 

You will have regular telephone contact with your Social Worker and they will also accompany you to meetings or attend meetings on your behalf. You will also receive support from the child/young person's Social Worker and the Placement Support Team. 

Outside of office hours, there is an out of hours service which is called the Emergency Duty Team, this service is available whenever the main office is closed.

Additional Support

  • Mentoring scheme for new Foster Carers
  • Monthly support group evenings with guest speakers
  • Monthly coffee mornings for Foster Carers
  • Fostering Christmas party
  • Annual Foster Carers appreciation event/awards night
  • Annual Fostering Family Fun day
  • Bespoke Foster Carer training courses

Private Fostering

Private Fostering is a private agreement where a parents asks another adult to look after their child. It is arranged and agreed by the Child's Parents and the person or family who will be caring for the child.

A private fostered child is a child under 16 (or under 18 if the child has a disability) cared for and living full time with someone other than:

  • A parent
  • A person who is not the parent but who has parental responsibility; or
  • A close relative (a close relative is a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt. It does not include cousins, great grandparents or great uncle's or aunt's). 
  • For a period intended to last more than 28 days. 

Common examples of Private Fostering are when a parent arranges for someone to care for their child, whilst they go away or to work, college, go into hospital or teenagers living with the family of a friend.

You can find information at https://www.privatefostering.org.uk

It is a legal requirement that the child's parents and the private foster Carers notify the arrangement to their Local Authority.

The Children's Hub
Civic Centre
Victoria Road
Hartlepool
TS24 8AY

Telephone: 01429 284284