We have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of privately fostered children.
However, it is the responsibility of their parents to make sure their carer is suitable.
Private foster care is defined as when a child under 16 years of age, or 18 if disabled, is cared for by an adult who is not a relative for more than 28 days.
These situations can occur as a result of the following:
- A child being sent to this Country for education or health care by their birth parents from overseas
- A child living with a friend's familky as a result of parental separation, divorse or arguments at home
- A teenager living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend
- A parent's hours of work or study makes it difficult for them to use ordinary care to look after their child.
The law requires you tell us at least six weeks before a private fostering arrangement begins unless it is an emergency when we should be notified within 48 hours.
We will make regular visits to ensure your child is well-cared for so you should also let us know if you change carers.
However, you will continue to hold parental responsibility for your child and should continue to be involved in decisions concerning their development.
For further information download our Private Fostering Arrangements Procedural Guide or contact our Adoption & Fostering Team on 01275 888 999.
Alternatively, contact the Department of Education via e'mail or on 01870 000 2288.