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Private fostering: old problems, new urgency

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Private fostering has a long history but few studies have been made of it. Bob Holman traces the development of private fostering in the last 50 years and then analyses what is known about it at present. He shows that, contrary to popular conception, far from being confined to West African children in Britain, private fostering now includes a number of different groupings. The evidence suggests that some private foster carers provide satisfactory care, but there is little doubt that numbers of private foster children are vulnerable to abuse. Black children are usually placed with white foster carers and their cultural and racial needs may not be met. Local authorities already possess considerable duties and powers concerning private fostering but few fully apply them. Proposals are made as to how private foster children can be properly safeguarded.
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Keywords: BAAF; PRIVATE FOSTERING; PRIVATE FOSTERING SPECIALISTS; REGISTER OF CARERS; VULNERABILITY; WEST AFRICAN CHILDREN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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