Private fostering - ' Somebody else's child - everyone's responsibility '
We are supporting the continuing BAAF (British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering) campaign highlighting the need to raise awareness of private fostering arrangements. These arrangements are often unrecognised and go unreported to the local authority. If you or someone you know is involved in a private fostering arrangement in the Leeds area, please read the following information.
Private fostering is a private arrangement where a parent (or someone with parental responsibility for a child) arranges for their child or children to live with a carer who is not the child's guardian or close relative (grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother or step parent) for 28 days or more.
Privately fostered children can be up to the age of 16 yrs. (or 18 if disabled) and are looked after on a full time basis.
Examples of privately fostered children can be:
- children / young people whose parents work or study long and / or anti-social hours
- children / young people sent to the UK for education or health care by birth parents from overseas
- children / young people living with a friend's family as a result of parental separation, divorce or difficulties at home
- teenagers living with their partner's family
Please note - this type of arrangement is completely different to fostering arrangements where children are placed with our local authority approved foster carers or via friends and family / kinship care foster carers.
We are required to protect and promote the welfare of privately fostered children, check the arrangements are safe and that children are well cared for. We can also give advice and support for carers providing private fostering commitments.
If you are a private foster carer:
- you must tell us at least 6 weeks before the child is to be privately fostered. If you are already privately fostering a child you must inform us at once;
- if you look after a child in an emergency and the arrangement is to last more than 28 days you must tell us within 48 hrs of the child being placed with you.
If you are a parent arranging private foster care:
- you must tell us where the child will be living 6 weeks before your child goes to live with the private foster carer
- in an emergency, you must inform us within 48 hrs. of the arrangement being made
- you should provide the private foster carer with as much information as possible about your child
You can contact us on 0113 222 4403. If you are a professional person involved with a child and their family please contact us on 0113 3760336