If so, this might be a private fostering arrangement?
Someone you know may have someone else’s child living with them. There are different reasons why they may have been asked to care for the child or young person however if the child has been living with them for 28 days or more, they are required by law to inform the Local Authority.
The law gives a clear definition of private fostering:
A private fostering arrangement is one that is made without the involvement of the Local Authority for someone other than the child’s parent or close relative to care for a child under the age of 16 (18 if this child is disabled) for more than 28 days. This arrangement does not include those children being cared for by a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether full blood, half blood or by marriage) or by a step-parent.
A private foster carer may be a friend of the family, a parent of a friend of the child or someone who is unknown to the child’s family; full definitions are within the Children Act 1989. The private foster carer becomes responsible for providing the day to day care for the children although overarching responsibility for the child remains with the parent unless determined otherwise by Court Orders.
If you know of a child or young person who you think may be being cared for by a Private Fostering arrangement please call the following numbers for advice:
Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) – 01582 547653
A leaflet about private fostering can be downloaded in Urdu, Polish and Bengali.