Private fostering occurs when a parent arranges for a child to be cared for by someone other than a parent or a close relative for more than 28 days. (It does not apply where the child is placed by the Council, voluntary organisations, or as a result of certain court orders).
A close relative means either, a step-parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle - either by blood or marriage. A child is anyone under the age of 16 or a disabled young person under 18.
- When can private fostering occur?
Private fostering arrangements can occur when:
- Children from abroad are sent by their parents to stay with relatives, often to improve their education or to receive health care.
- Children are staying with family friends as a result of parental separation, divorce, chronic illness or parents are in prison.
- Teenagers who have broken ties with their parents due to conflicts at home and are staying with friends, or families of their boyfriends or girlfriends, or even strangers.
- Asylum seekers or refugees who have travelled to this country with people who are not their parents or close relatives.
- Children living with host families while they follow training courses.
- Who qualifies as a private foster carer?
The following relations would not be classed as private foster carers, and therefore there would be no need to report the arrangement to the Trust:
- A separated parent
- A step-parent
- A partner with parental responsibility
- A sister or brother
- A special guardian
- A grandparent
- An aunt or uncle
If a child was living with one of the following, then the arrangement would be classed as a private foster case, and therefore it would have to be reported to the Trust
- A great aunt/uncle
- A cousin or second cousin
- A partner without parental responsibility
- A friend of the family
- The parent of a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend
- What does Doncaster Children’s Services Trust do?
When private fostering happens it is Doncaster Children’s Services Trust’s responsibility to:
- Assess the suitability of the private foster carers.
- Make regular visits to the child.
- Monitor the overall standard of care.
- Ensure that advice to carers, parents and the child is made available when needed.
- What you can do?
Many professionals who work in education, health, social care or who come into contact with children and families may identify private fostering arrangements. They have a duty to:
- Encourage the parent/carer to report the private fostering arrangement.
- Provide information about private fostering.
- Report the arrangement if the parent or carer fails to
Tel: 01302 737789