What is private fostering?
Private Fostering is when parents make a private arrangement for their child to be cared for by someone other than a close relative or legal guardian for more than 28 days. For example, this could be with a friend, neighbour, or a distant relative such as cousin or great aunt.
Telling Children's Services:
The law says that you must notify Children’s Services in writing at least 6 weeks before you start a private fostering arrangement. If it’s an emergency you still need to give Children’s Services at least 48 hours notice - please call Manchester Contact Centre on 0161 234 5001
What do I do if I have already made a private fostering arrangement?
If you weren't aware of the law and you are a parent or a private foster carer who has already made a private fostering arrangement please let Children’s Services know now - call Manchester Contact Centre on 0161 234 5001.
Why is it important to tell Children’s Services?
It can be a difficult decision for parents to ask someone else to look after their child - it may be as a result of a family crisis such as, divorce, work difficulties or illness. Whatever the reason, Children’s Services is here to help you make sure the choice is the right one and to support you, the carers and the child. Support includes agreeing the best ways for everyone to keep in touch and finding out whether the carer will be able to claim financial benefits such as Child Tax Credits or Child Benefit, as well as making sure the caring arrangements are suitable for the child.
What information will Children’s Services need?
Children's Services will ask you for written notice about the private fostering arrangement including when it is due to start and how long it is likely to last; details of the parents and the private foster carers names and contact details; details of the child; notification of any changes in circumstance or ending of the arrangement.
What will Children’s Services do?
A Social Worker will carry out an assessment to ensure the care arrangements are suitable for the child. They will regularly visit to provide support and advice and ensure the child is making good progress.
What age does private fostering go up to?
Private Fostering is when parents make a private arrangement for their child or children aged under 16 (under 18 for young people with disabilities).
Who is a close relative?
If your child is being looked after by a close relative it is not a private fostering arrangement. A close relative is a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether full blood or half blood or by marriage) or step-parent.
How do I find out more about Private Fostering?
For further advice and information telephone 0161 234 5001