Published Monday 3 July 2023 at 16:59
Private Fostering Awareness Week takes place from Monday the 3rd of July this year.
Private Fostering is when a child or young person is looked after by someone who is not a close relative for a period of 28 days or longer.
To be clear, a close relative is the child or young person’s:
Grandparent, Sister, Brother, Aunt, Uncle or Step-Parent.
This also includes relationships by marriage and civil regulation.
If you aren’t a close relative then you will need to ensure that the correct arrangements are in place for a child in your care under the age of 16 (or 18 if they have a disability). In these situations, the local council’s Children’s Services department must be informed.
By law, the local authority, where the child will be living, should be informed about any private fostering arrangements before they happen – ideally, weeks beforehand.
During a private fostering arrangement, the parent remains responsible for the child or young person.
Director of Children’s Services and Education, Joanne Siddle said:
“Blackburn with Darwen aims to keep children within their immediate family and ensure that any necessary support services are provided. However, if other arrangements have been made the council need to be informed.
“The wellbeing and safety of the Child or Young Person is our biggest interest.
We want to keep all children and young people safe. Children can be vulnerable when they are separated from their family, so it is especially important that we know when a private fostering situation has arisen so that we can make sure they are safe and well.”
Many circumstances can lead to a child or young person being looked after by someone else. Some common examples include:
- Children with parents or families overseas
- Local children living apart from their families
- Asylum seekers and refugees
- Children with parents working or studying in the UK
- Trafficked children
- Children attending language schools
- Children at independent boarding schools who do not return home for holidays
- Children brought in from abroad with a view to adoption
Please note that Private Fostering is not the same as becoming a foster carer, and as such this does not attract weekly foster carer fees or allowances.
Find out more:
Private fostering | Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council