To notify South Gloucestershire’s Children’s Services about a private fostering arrangement, or for any further advice, call 01454 866 222.
It is common for children to stay away from home for short periods of time, such as sleep overs with friends and family. This is very different to a child living away from home for a longer period. If a child under 16 (or under 18 if they have a disability including a diagnosis of ADHD), is living with someone else for more than 28 days this becomes a private fostering arrangement.
We offer support, guidance and advice for professionals, parents, children, and carers in these situations. We help to make sure children’s needs are being well met and that parents and carers have access to advice when they need it. We can help ensure practical arrangements are in place and can provide training for private foster carers to enhance skills and confidence.
There are many different reasons why children become privately fostered:
- Families who request support for their children when going through separation or divorce.
- Children who go to live elsewhere due to difficulties at home, commonly disagreements with parents or other family members.
- Parents who require the support of friends or extended family to help with childcare due to unsociable work hours or commitments.
- Children from abroad who come over for education or health purposes.
- Children from abroad who attend language schools and stay with a host family, including in the school holidays.
If you think a child might be privately fostered, please let us know by calling 01454 866 222 and ask to speak to the private fostering lead.
Alternatively, you can download and fill in our notification form.
What happens next?
Once we are notified, we will visit the private foster carer and child, and speak to the child’s parents and school to make sure the child is safe and that their needs are being met. We will complete an assessment for the private foster carer which includes checks and references and discuss any worries they might have about caring for the child, alongside training and support needs that we could help with.
- Leaflet for parents and carers, a guide for young people or for posters to display
- Coram BAAF: What is private fostering?
- UK Looking after someone else’s child?
- South Gloucestershire’s Private Fostering Statement of Purpose