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Private fostering

Private fostering is where a parent asks another adult to care for their child for 28 days or more in the other adult's home.

Mother and girl

This is when a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a 'close relative'. This is a private arrangement made between a parent and a carer, for 28 days or more. Close relatives are defined as step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts (whether of full blood, half blood or marriage/affinity).

It does not apply where the child is placed in foster care by the council.

Children who are privately fostered

  • Children from abroad who have come to England for education or for medical treatment.
  • Children living with a friend's family after separation, divorce or arguments at home.
  • Teenagers living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Children whose parents come from abroad to study or work (or both), but find it difficult to find time to care for them due to those commitments.

Responsibilities of the birth parent(s)

  • Provide the foster carer(s) with as much information about the child as possible - health records, dietary needs and preferences, school records, hobbies, religion and ethnicity.
  • Inform the local authority - stating why, and giving the name and address of the person whose care the child has been moved into.

Responsibilities of the foster carer(s)

  • Inform the local authority (Hillingdon Council) at least six weeks before the child arrives, unless it is an emergency, in which case within 48 hours of the fostering arrangement beginning. This must be done even if payment is not involved.

Responsibilities of Hillingdon Council

  • Ensure the foster home and household are suitable to care for the child.
  • Regularly visit the child(ren), the private foster carer.
  • Offer support and advice about looking after someone else's child and how to meet the child's day-to-day needs - physical, emotional, educational and cultural.
  • Help the foster carer(s) and birth parent(s) to work together for the benefit of the child, and take action if the care provided is unsatisfactory.

If you are involved, or likely to be involved, in private fostering or if you require further advice please contact the referral and assessment team.

Checks cannot be made if we, the local authority, are not aware of the arrangements.

Referral and assessment team

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 11 Apr 2017 at 10:40