Why we are involved
A private fostering arrangement does not mean that your child is in care, but our children’s social care team would be legally responsible for your child’s welfare and must make sure that your arrangements are suitable.
The next steps after you’ve contacted us
Once you have contacted us a social worker will visit you and the private foster carer to discuss the plans for your child.
The social worker will complete a standard notification form and private fostering arrangement assessment record to check:
- the suitability of the private foster carer and the suitability of people over 16 living with them
- disclosure and barring service clearance
- the suitability of the home where your child will be living
- how long the arrangement is expected to last
- what your child feels about the arrangement
- what arrangements have been made for your child’s health and educational needs
- what arrangements have been made for contact between you and your child
- what financial arrangements are in place or are proposed
The social worker will also ask you to make a written agreement with the carer that includes any special arrangements and ensure everyone understands the details that have been agreed.
The next steps after the arrangement has been agreed
- the carer will have a fostering social worker to provide support and advice
- you, and your child (if old enough), will also get the social worker’s contact details
- the social worker will visit every six weeks for the first year and every 12 weeks after that
Any financial arrangements you make with the private foster carer will not involve us. The private foster carer can claim child benefit and child tax credit if you are not already claiming it. Financial responsibility for the young person, however, remains with holders of parental responsibility, usually the parents.
If the private foster carer is claiming any benefits they will need to inform the Department for Work and Pensions that they are privately fostering a child. They should also let them know about any money that they are receiving for private fostering.