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Frequently asked questions for professionals

Is a privately fostered child, a child in care?

No. Private fostering is a private arrangement made by the parent with the carer.

Do parents still have parental responsibility and are they responsible for decision making and finances?

Yes the overarching responsibility for the child’s welfare remains with the parent or person with parental responsibility.  This includes financial responsibility for the child.

Do you have to wait until the arrangement has been in place for 28 days before making a notification of a Private Fostering arrangement? 

No. If there is an intention for the arrangement to last 28 days then please make the referral.

Is it still Private fostering if... 

A child is already open to a social worker an subject to Care Plan or Child in Need Plans and then goes to live with someone who is not a close relative is still a need for a Private Fostering assessment? 

Yes, the arrangement is still Private Fostering if a voluntary arrangement with someone other than a close relative. The child’s social worker should notify the Family and Friends team of the arrangement so that an assessment can commence.

The child's father goes to prison and the child remains living with his unmarried partner is the Private fostering?

Yes,  if the couple or unmarried and there is no legal step parent agreement in place.

The carer is very close to the family and known as uncle to the child? 

Yes this would be Private Fostering as the carer is not defined as a close relative. 

A child is living with their grandmother’s sister, great aunt? 

Yes. This is Private Fostering because Great Aunt is not defined as a close relative.

A child is living with family friend but returns to parent every other weekend? 

No. This is not private fostering as the arrangement is not for 28 consecutive days. 

The parent no longer agrees to the arrangement?

Private Fostering is a voluntary arrangement between parent and private foster carer – so if parent or carer is not in agreement then it is no longer a Private Fostering arrangement. However, in some situations older young people are able to give informed consent for a Private Fostering arrangement.