Private Fostering

In 'Private Fostering' section: What is Private Fostering?

Private Fostering is when a child is being cared for by someone who is not their parent or a close relative. It is a private arrangement made between the parent and carer and occurs when the child is under 16 (18 if disabled) and they have lived with the carer for 28 days or more. Close relatives are defined as step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles. Private Foster Carers may be from the extended family such as a cousin, or great aunt, a friend of the family, the parent of a friend of the child or someone previously unknown to the childs family who is willing to take on their care.

Families find Private Foster Carers themselves and the responsibility remains with the parents to ensure that they find suitable carers. When a child is privately fostered, parents still have parental responsibility. This means they should make decisions about the child.

Someone could be looking after your child, or you could be looking after someone else's child because the child...

  • is living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • is staying with another family because their parents have separated or divorced.
  • has had an argument at home.
  • is sent to this country, for education or healthcare by parents who live overseas.
  • is living with a friends family because their parents study or work involves long or unsociable hours.
  • is at boarding school and staying during the holidays.
  • is on a language school or holiday exchange.
What do I need to do?

You must tell Childrens Services at least six weeks before a child comes to live with you. If the child comes to live with you in an emergency situation you must tell Childrens Services within 48 hours of this happening.

If a child is already living with you, and you have not told Childrens Services already, you must do so immediately.

What will Children's Services do?

They will visit the parent and the Private Foster Carer to discuss the arrangements being made for the child. They will visit the private foster home to check the situation is suitable and safe for the child. When the child is living with the Private Foster Carer, they will visit regularly to make sure that the child is safe and well looked after. They will be available to speak to parents, carers and the child if they need advice and/or support about the arrangement, for example with education and health care, any religious, cultural and language needs and to ensure that the child is able to keep in touch with their family. They will also make sure financial arrangements are in place to cover the cost of caring for the child and advise on benefits.

What you should do next

If you would like to let us know about a private fostering arrangement or find out more about private fostering then contact us. Please remember that if you are involved in a private fostering arrangement and you do not notify us - you are committing an offence.

To watch a short video "Somebody Else's Child: a film about private fostering" on YouTube click here.

Download Attachments:
.pdf filePrivate Fostering-Information for Young People.pdf (383k)

Last modified: 05/02/2016 08:47:30

.pdf filePrivate Fostering - Information Booklet.pdf (980k)

Last modified: 06/12/2017 14:39:47

.pdf filePrivate fostering - Information for private foster carers.pdf (958k)

Last modified: 06/12/2017 14:39:49

.pdf filePrivate fostering - Information for professionals.pdf (990k)

Last modified: 06/12/2017 14:39:50

.pdf filePrivate Fostering poster.pdf (2382k)

Last modified: 06/12/2017 14:39:54

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Private Fostering