Private Fostering

A private fostering arrangement is one that is made without the involvement of the local authority to look after a child under the age of 16 (or under 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative, for 28 days or more and can include those living with extended family members. So, this could be a child living with people as stated below:

Private Fostering includes a child living with:

  • Godparents
  • Great Grandparents
  • Great Aunts or Uncles
  • Family Friends
  • Stepparents where a couple isn’t married or in a civil partnership
  • Cousins
  • A host family which is caring for a child from overseas while they are in education here

Private Fostering does not include a child living with:

  • Mother/Father
  • Brothers/Sister
  • Grandparents
  • Aunts/Uncles
  • Stepparents where a couple is married or in a civil partnership
  • Children and young people who are being looked after by the Authority.

It’s a legal duty (Children Act 1989) for parents or the private foster carer to notify the local authority of whenever a child is not living with a close relative. This should be done six weeks before the arrangement takes place or immediately if it is unplanned or already happening. This is so the local authority can work with private foster carers to keep children safe and also support anyone who is privately fostering.

Our staff are aware of what Private Fostering is and staff in our school understand their legal duty under the Children Act 1989 to notify the Local Authority/Children’s Social Care, if they are made aware of such cases. Our school understands the apprehension some carers may feel is raising such concerns and the difficulty that some carers may have if faced with this situation. As such, our staff will endeavour to support the carers and the child to ensure the wellbeing of the child is maintained and help and advice is made available.