Posted on Monday 6th November 2023
People in Staffordshire who care for children who are not their own under private fostering arrangements are being reminded that support is available.
Private Fostering Week starts on Monday 6 November and will highlight the importance of notifying the county council about such arrangements.
Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 years old (under 18 if they have a disability) is cared for by someone who is not their birth 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.
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council is reminding families about the importance of letting the authority know about any arrangements.
“It’s really important that we know about situations where people are looking after someone else’s children.
“Once we know about any arrangements, our teams can carry out their legal duty to ensure that the child is safe and well looked after. At the same time, teams will also make sure that carers themselves are supported appropriately, by organising regular visits and offering advice and support.”
A private foster carer could be:
- An extended family member, such as great aunt or cousin or great grandparent
- A family friend or parent of a friend
- A host family, caring for a child whilst they study in the UK
Support available for private foster carers includes:
- Parenting support and advice about education
- Training courses and signposting and support to access other relevant services
- Advice about benefits
- Help in bringing families in crisis back together
For further information, or, to report that a child is being privately fostered call 0300 111 8007 then select option 1, then 4, then 3.