What is private fostering?
Can you answer 'yes' to any of the following questions:
- are you looking after someone else’s child?
- is your child living with another family?
- do you know about a child who is living away from their parents, with a person who is not the child’s grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister or step-parent for 28 days or more?
If so then this is probably a private fostering arrangement and Bracknell Forest Council needs to know about it.
Contact us even if you are not sure that private fostering applies to you and we will be happy to answer any questions.
Possible reasons for Private Fostering arrangements:
Private fostering arrangements are made for a variety of reasons, such as:
- families or friends looking after children whose parents are in another country
- teenagers living with friends because they are not getting on well with their parents
- children being cared for while their parent/s are hospitalised or imprisoned
- children sent to the UK for educational purposes
- children ‘on the edge of care’
- children at independent boarding schools who do not return home for holidays and are placed with host families
Parents and private foster carers have a responsibility to tell their local council about these arrangements so we can support everyone involved and make regular checks to ensure children are safe and happy. Our aim is to help children and their parents and carers have a positive experience of private fostering, not to intrude in arrangements which are working well.
When should Bracknell Forest Council be told?
By law, anyone involved with a private fostering arrangement in Bracknell must tell us, ideally six weeks before the arrangement begins.
If it is an emergency arrangement, or the child is already living in a private fostering arrangement, we should be told immediately.
Should schools and GP be told about a private fostering arrangement?
There is no duty for schools and GP’s to be given information about a child who is privately fostered by the family, carer or the local authority. There is however a duty on schools and GP’s to inform children’s services where they become aware of such an arrangement.
If you would like to talk to us about a child who is being privately fostered, please call the Bracknell Forest Council Duty and Assessment Team on 01344 352020.