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Safeguarding children in private fostering

Safeguarding is particularly relevant when we refer to private fostering.

This is why we want to explain to you what private fostering is and what you should do if you are aware of or involved in a private fostering arrangement.

Private Fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if they have a disability) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a close relative under a private arrangement made between a parent and a carer, for 28 days or more.

A close relative is defined as a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether full blood, half blood or by marriage) or a step-parent. They would not be considered private foster carers.

Members of the extended family however, such as a cousin or great aunt can be considered a private foster carer, as can a friend of the family, the parent of a friend of the child, or someone previously unknown to the family who is willing to privately foster a child.

Children can be privately fostered for many reasons. However, regardless of what caused this situation, the parent(s) and the private foster carer have a legal responsibility to inform the council six weeks before the private fostering arrangement begins.

If you realise that you or someone you know may be fostering privately, you need to let us know immediately as we will may be able to offer support to the family.
The same applies if you are aware of someone being a private foster carer. We advise you to contact Brent Family Front Door on 020 8937 4300.

You can read more information about private fostering in the online brochure by clicking on the image below

For more information please visit the private fostering page on Brent Council website.