What is Private Fostering?

Posted on Monday 26th September 2022
Private Fostering 1

Are you caring for a child who isn’t your own?

Residents in Staffordshire who care for children who are not their own under private fostering arrangements (as defined below) are being reminded that they need to let the local authority know.

Private Fostering Week runs from 26 to 30 September and will highlight the importance of notifying the council about what is called a private fostering arrangement.

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 said: “We all have a role to play in helping to keep children safe and it’s important that the council knows about arrangements 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 private foster 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

The type of support available includes:

  • Parenting support and advice
  • Advice about education
  • Training courses
  • Signposting and support to access other relevant services
  • Advice about benefits
  • Help in bringing families in crisis back together

Further information about private fostering.

Or if you want to report that a child is being privately fostered call 0300 111 8007 select option 1, then 5 then 2.