Private fostering occurs when a child under 16 (or 18 if disabled) is cared for by an adult who is not a close relative for more than 28 days, by private arrangement between the parent and the carer. This is different from children in the care of the local authority.
Under the Children Act 1989, private foster carers and those with parental responsibility are required to notify Children’s Social Care of their intention to privately foster or have a child privately fostered, to ensure that the child and family receives the appropriate care and support.
Health staff should notify Children’s Social care of a private fostering arrangement that comes to their attention where they are not satisfied that the Local Authority have been or will be notified of the arrangement. For further guidance see the LSCB guidance (Section 5.8.5) regarding private fostering within the multi-agency procedures: