Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 years old (18 years old if disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or ‘close relative’. It is a private arrangement made between parent and carer for 28 days or more. A close relative is defined as a step parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether full blood or affinity). Affinity means by marriage to someone who is blood related to the child.
Is your child living with someone else?
Are you looking after someone else’s child?
Do you know someone who is caring for someone else’s child?
If your child is being cared for by someone who is not a close relative or you have been caring for a child for 28 days or more, the law requires you to notify your local council.
All local councils are legally required to make sure children being privately fostered are well cared for, safe and their needs are being met. This will involve regular contact with the child, carer and parent. While local authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of privately fostered children, it is the responsibility of their parents to make sure their carer is suitable.