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Private fostering

Private Fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or if the child has a disability, under the age of 18) is looked after for 28 days or more by another adult.

If this person is not the parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister of that child, then they may be a private foster carer. If you are a parent or anyone else involved in making private fostering arrangements you must tell the council of your plans. You should do this at least six weeks before your child goes to live with private foster parents. Although the local authority is not involved in making these arrangements, it is important that they are notified about them.

 A video guide to private fostering

Private fostering arrangements could be set up due to a number of factors such as:

  • children coming from abroad for,
  • education, 
  • healthcare,
  • children living with a friend's family after separation, divorce or arguments at home, or
  • teenagers living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend.

It does not include children on weekend or holiday visits.

The council has a legal duty under the 1989 Children Act to safeguard the well being of privately fostered children.  By law, if you are planning a private fostering arrangement you must contact the local authority at least 6 weeks before the plans start. If the child is already living in these arrangements please contact Telford & Wrekin Council immediately on 01952 385385. It is an offence not to notify children's services - you could be risking a fine.

Despite this, many private fostering arrangements remain hidden, leaving children vulnerable to abuse and neglect. This was highlighted by the tragic death of privately fostered Victoria Climbie.  Privately fostered children are one of the largest groups of vulnerable children in the UK, Don't let them be forgotten - notify children's services!

For more information on private fostering visit the Telford & Wrekin Council website or visit the Somebody else's child website.