- Private fostering explained
- Checklist for private fostering arrangements
- Benefits of telling the local council
- Private fostering regulations
- Further information
Private fostering describes an arrangement when someone, who is not a close relative, cares for another person’s child for 28 days or more. (Close relative is defined as step-parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt – whether full blood, half blood or by marriage).
Although this is done by private arrangement, legally the parent and the carer must notify the local authority where the child is going to live so that the local authority can ensure that the child is being properly looked after.
Everybody has a role in keeping our children safe - whether you are a teacher, youth worker, neighbour or just chat to the other mums at the school gate. If you hear about a child who is being privately fostered please let us know immediately so we can ensure the child is being kept safe.
- Have you been looking after a child who is not your own, for a total of 28 days or more?
- Are you about to look after a child who is not your own for a total of 28 days or more?
- Does someone else look after your child in this way or are they intending to do so?
- Is this child under 16 years old or is the child disabled and under 18 years?
- Is the person who looks after your child a friend, cousin, great aunt/uncle, neighbour, a parent of a child’s friend, a distant relative or someone else who is not related to the child?
If you answer yes to any of the questions above, please see the Private fostering information for professionals (PDF, 490K)
Private foster carers will receive support and advice and will have access to information which will help them understand their rights and tasks as private foster carers.
Children and young people will have access to support and information which will help them to understand what the private fostering arrangement means.
Parents will receive valuable advice and information about setting up maintaining the private fostering arrangement.
The government re-introduced private fostering regulations in July 2005, making it a duty for private foster carers and parents to notify the council if:
- They intend to privately foster or
- They already privately foster.
The council is the one in which the private foster carers live.
The regulations are intended to make sure that all children who do not live at home are safely cared for and their carers are supported.
If you are a professional and you are aware of a private fostering arrangement you have special duties in relation to the private fostering arrangements. To find out more about your tasks, please refer to professionals and private fostering.
For further information or advice please contact the Single Point of Access Team (SPA) on 020 8489 4470 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org