Many children who are privately fostered are not known to the services, institutions or people working with them.
Privately fostered children are much more vulnerable because of their ‘invisibility’ and because services do not always record and report information about them.
Under new regulations, identifying, recording and reporting children who may be privately fostered is everyone’s responsibility – the responsibility falls on all those people or agencies who come into contact with children and young people in their work.
Private Fostering - A Definition
‘A private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made privately (that is to say without the involvement of the Authority) for the care of a child or young person under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more …. The period for which the child is cared for or accommodated by the private foster carer should be continuous, but that continuity is not broken by the occasional short breaks’
(National Minimum Standard for Private Fostering DFES 2005)
Professionals in the education, health and social care fields need to be more aware of private fostering and more proactive in identifying and notifying private fostering arrangements.
Notify us if you know of a case that meets the criteria