Published July 8, 2014 at 15:07
Events that celebrate family life are set to take place across Blackburn with Darwen to help raise awareness of the support available for families who are looking after someone else’s child.
On Saturday, July 12th, the Council will launch a Facebook photograph competition to mark the start of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Private Fostering Awareness Week (12-19 July). Private fostering is the term used to describe an informal arrangement where a child under 16 lives with somebody else other than their parents or immediate family for 28 days or more.
To mark the significance of the 28 day timescale, the Council is also holding a free ‘Route 28 Treasure Trek’ for all the family in Blackburn town centre on Saturday, July 12, from 12 noon to 4pm, with the chance to win a family weekend away. Starting from outside the Town Hall in King William Street, families will be able to follow 28 clues that take them across the town centre, ending up back at the start, where there will be a live roadshow by The Bee radio and a lifesize bingo game with the chance to win prizes for those who get the number 28. The trek is expected to take around an hour to complete.
Blackburn with Darwen Council representatives will be available on the day to answer any questions and provide any support to any families already caring for somebody else’s child, or who are considering it.
In the photography competition, families across the borough will be urged to send in photographs of their families having fun, with a caption. The competition will run via the BwD Private Fostering Facebook page from July 12 to August 12 and the photograph with the most ‘likes’ will win a Fujifilm Fine Pix S4200 camera and accessories worth £120.
Private fostering can happen for all sorts of reasons, from young people going to stay with friends when they have fallen out with their parents or their parents have split up, gone abroad or are ill to children being sent over to the UK for education or healthcare by parents who live overseas.
Cllr Frank Connor, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “It is a little known fact that when families look after someone else’s child for more than 28 days, they are legally required to tell the Council. This is so we can be sure that all children are safe and we can provide vital information and support to people who are looking after someone else’s child, from parental advice to claiming additional benefits and funding for essential items.
“We really want to get the message out there and hope lots of families will join in the fun during national Private Fostering Awareness Week to celebrate family life and spread the word about getting in touch with the Council if you’re looking after someone else’s child.”* To enter the photography competition, send your pictures to BwD Private Fostering Facebook page with a caption and the answer to the question: How many days can you care for someone else’s child before it is considered private fostering?
Everyone who successfully completes the ‘Route 28’ treasure trek will receive a certificate and will be entered into a prize draw to win a weekend away for a family of four at a choice of 11 Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza hotels across the UK!*
* Terms and Conditions Apply to prizes.
The Route 28 Treasure Trek Prize is for a family of four on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. The prize is subject to availability and is non-transferable or redeemable for cash equivalent.
The digital camera bundle prize is for a Fujifilm Fine Pix S4200 White + Case +8GB Memory +4 AA Batteries and Charger worth £120.
Filed under : Children’s Services | competition | Councillor | Executive Member for Children’s Services | Facebook | Frank Connor | Private fostering | Private Fostering Awareness Week | Route 28 Treasure Trek