Private fostering involves someone other than a parent or close relative becoming responsible for the day-to-day care of a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if the child has disabilities). It is an offence if this arrangement is intended to last for more than 28 days and the local authority (LA) is not notified by the parent(s) or private foster carer(s). This is because the relevant LA must be satisfied that that the child’s welfare is safeguarded and promoted. Parents or private foster carers should contact the LA at least 6 weeks before the start of the private fostering arrangement, or immediately where the arrangement is to begin within 6 weeks.
A private foster carer may be a friend of the family or someone previously unknown to the family who is willing to care for the child. They may also come from the extended family; however, grandparents, siblings, uncle, aunts and step-parents would not be considered private foster carers.
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