Children who are cared for on a full-time basis by people who are not direct relatives are in a private fostering arrangement.
A private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made, without the involvement of a local authority, for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative for 28 days or more.
Private foster carers may be from the extended family, such as a cousin or great aunt. However, a person who is a relative such as a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether with full or half blood or by marriage) or step-parent will not be a private foster carer. A private foster carer may be a friend of the family, the parent of a friend of the child, or someone previously unknown to the child’s family who is willing to privately foster a child for more than 28 days.
If you know of a child in this situation, the law says you must notify the local authority so they can make sure the person caring for the child can receive information, support and advice and that the child is safe. If you require more information or wish to make a referral please contact MASH Team (Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub) on 0121 788 4300 (option 2) or the fostering team on 0121 788 4253.
Alternatively for further information about private fostering please visit CoramBAAF https://corambaaf.org.uk/ and search private fostering.