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Private Fostering Week - 8 to 13 July 2019

Private Fostering may be being under reported. Would you be able to identify a child who was being Privately Fostered?

What is Private Fostering?

A private fostering arrangement occurs when a child under 16 (or 18 if the child is disabled) is cared for and lives with an adult who is not a relative for 28 days or more.

The Children Act 1989 defines a relative as a step-parent (by marriage or civil partnership), grandparent, step grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt. Private fostering is a private arrangement made by the parent(s), (or those with parental responsibility) for someone to care for their child because they are unable to do so (permanently or temporarily). This may be due to parental ill health, a parent going abroad or into prison, a child being brought to the UK to study English, the relationship between the child and parent has broken down etc.

Responsibility for professionals working with children

If you think that a child is being privately fostered you should tell the parent or carer that they must report the arrangement to their local Children’s Social Work Service at least six weeks before it happens or within 48 hours if the arrangement is current having been made in an emergency.

If you as a professional know or believe that the arrangement has not been, and will not be notified, you should contact Children’s Social Work Services.

Professional referrals can be made by completing the Request for Support form