Private Fostering is a casual arrangement, where a person, who is not a blood relative and has no legal order in place, authorising the care of a child, under 16 (18 with a disability) for whom they provide care for an uninterrupted period of 28 days (S. 66 Children Act 1989)
What is private fostering
Private Fostering is a ‘casual arrangement’, where a person, who is not a blood relative and has no legal order in place, authorising the care of a child, under 16 (18 with a disability) for whom they provide care for an uninterrupted period of 28 days (S. 66 Children Act 1989)
When it Is Not Private Fostering:
If the person providing care is either a grandparent, aunt or uncle, cousin or older sibling, this is not Private Fostering
If there is any kind of Legal Order in place, whereby the Court has awarded responsibility to the adult to care for the child, this is not Private Fostering
Things to consider
The child might refer to the person as Aunt or Uncle – but are they – or are they just a family friend?
The chid might refer to the person as dad or mum – but are they – have you asked for proof of PR – if you are a professional and you provide a service to the child or family?
Why we Need to Know
It is imperative that the local authority are notified if a child is living with someone who is not their parent or a connected person for longer than 28 days. The local authority needs to be satisfied that the placement is suitable and the child is safe. To be defined as ‘Private Fostering’ the child must be living with that person for longer than 28 days and this should be continuous but can include short breaks
Find out more
If you are a professional, you have a duty to notify if you think a child is living with somebody and it falls under the definition of Private Fostering. Contact the Barnsley Fostering Team on (01226) 775876 and ask to speak to the Private Fostering Social Worker.