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Private Fostering

Is your child under 16 (or under 18 if they have a disability) and has been living with an adult who is not a close family member for more than 28 days?
You might not be able to look after your child for different reasons and may think it’s best to ask another adult to look after them for a while, or they may have made this decision for them self.

Are you looking after somebody else’s child or teenager?
Have you arranged with their parents to care for a child or young person who is not a close relative for more than 28 days?

In both cases this is called a private fostering arrangement – and both the carer and the parents have a responsibility to inform children’s social care of the arrangement.

Private fostering is when a child who under 16 years of age (or under 18 if they have a disability) is living and being looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not:

  • a parent;
  • a close relative i.e. grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or step-parent; or
  • a person with parental responsibility for the child.

The law says that a social worker must make sure that the child is well looked after where they are living. They will come to visit and make sure the child is happy living with the private foster carer and they will talk to the person caring for them to see if they need any help.

If you think you may be privately fostering a child, or you know someone who is, please call the East Sussex SPOA (Single Point Of Advice) on 01323 464222 for further discussion