Are you looking after a child who is not your own? You could be a private foster carer. A private foster carer is someone who is not a close relative who looks after a child under 16 (or18 if the child is disabled) for 28 days or more. A close relative is a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or step-parent. Any other relative such as a cousin or great-aunt would be a private foster carer.
Such an arrangement is made privately between parents and carers, however by law Children’s Services Contact Team it must be notified before the arrangement starts. If you are already looking after a child in this situation you must inform them straight away. It is an offence not to do so. However Children’s Services recognise that most people are not aware of this, so please do not worry about coming forward.
Children’s Services have a legal duty to visit the child and make the necessary checks to ensure that the home is suitable for the child you are looking after. If you think that this applies to you, please contact the Children’s Services Contact Team on 0207 527 7400 or Susan Wilson, Private Fostering Specialist Social Worker, on 020 7527 4506 . They will be happy to discuss the situation with you and to offer advice.
Information if you are looking after someone else's child: click here.
Information for children and young people being looked after by someone who is not their parent: click here.
Information for parents whose children are being looked after by someone else: click here.