Private fostering

Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they have a disability) is looked after for 28 days or more by someone who is not a close relative, guardian or person with parental responsibility (parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents).

You must notify the local council in writing six weeks before the start of a private fostering arrangement

The Children's Act 1989 says that private foster carers, or the parents of children being looked after by private foster carers, must notify the local council in writing six weeks before the start of a private fostering arrangement unless the arrangements have been made in an emergency, when you have 48 hours to tell the council.

Health visitors, doctors and teachers will report a private fostering arrangement to the council if they aren't satisfied that the private foster carer, or the child's parent, has done so.

If you are a professional and become aware of private fostering arrangement, you have a duty to inform us.

Do not risk your child's safety - notification helps keep children safe

Once notified the council will assess the arrangements to make sure the child's needs are being met and that members of the household are suitable to look after the child.

We will also check that your home is safe and make regular visits to make sure all is going well. 

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