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Private Fostering

For you as a foster carer there are different types of fostering types, mainly depending on children’s needs and your approval terms. One of these fostering types is private fostering.

When children under the age of 16 or upto the age of 18 if disabled are being cared for by someone other than their parents or close relatives, we call this a private fostering arrangements. This is mainly for 28 days or more. Compare to other fostering types, for example, long-term fostering, short-term fostering, where the arrangments are between the local authority and foster carers (in some cases a private fostering agency too), private fostering will be between parents and foster carers. Grandparents, aunts, brothers, sisters, step-parents will not be considered as foster carers as these come under close relatives.

Foster carers who provide private fostering where they look after someone’s child for more than 28 days are required by law to inform their local council and it is an offence not to notify the local council of the private fostering arrangments. Council will provide essential welfare checks for the children and some support services to the families or foster carers which include parenting support, claiming benefits, funding for some items for the children and in event of crises bringing the families together.

The Children Act 1989 brings together the law relating to children’s welfare within asingle coherent legislative framework. It aims to strike a balance between the duty ofparents to exercise their responsibilities towards their children and the duty of thestate to intervene to ensure that children’s welfare is safeguarded and promoted. The legislation relevant to private fostering is set out in Part 9 of, and Schedule 8 to,the Children Act 1989, and regulations made under Part 9 of that Act. Section 67 of, and Schedule 8 to, the Children Act 1989 have been amended bysection 44 of the Children Act 2004 which came into force on 1 July 2005. TheChildren (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005 which came intoforce on the same date replaced the Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering)Regulations 1991. For more information on private fostering guidance please click on the link https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/274414/Children_Act_1989_private_fostering.pdf

If you know or aware of any private fostering arrangments please let your local council know.

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