Private fostering is an arrangement by which a child under 16 (or under 18 if disabled):
- Does not live with a parent (or step parent),
- Is cared for by an adult who is not a close relative (in this context a close relative is a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, including both full and half relations and relations by marriage),
- Is in a private arrangement made by the parent and the carer,
- Is being cared for by a carer in a different home which lasts, or is intended to last, for a continuous period of 28 days or more.
Examples of private fostering
- A teenager moves in with a friend’s family because of a breakdown in relationships at home, or parents move out of the area.
- A child is left with the unmarried partner of his/her parent because of the imprisonment of the parent.
- Host families looking after children at language schools or boarding schools during the summer holidays, where this is longer than 28 days.
If you know or suspect that a child is being privately fostered, you should notify Children’s Services and inform the carer or parent of the referral. If you have any concerns about a child’s welfare, you should notify the local children’s social care immediately.
All enquiries and referrals, including Private Fostering notifications are to be made to CASS team on 0121 303 1888 (Mon-Fri office hours) or you can email CASS@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk.
For more information on Private Fostering, visit CoramBAAF’s website.