What is Private Fostering?
A private foster carer is when someone other than you or a close relative cares for your child (if under 16 years of age or 18 if they are disabled) for a period of 28 days or more.
Private foster carers can be part of your child’s wider family, a friend of the family, your boyfriend or girlfriend or someone unknown but willing to foster the child.
Your child is not considered to be privately fostered if you leave your child with a close relative, by this we mean:
- a grandparent,
- a brother or sister,
- an aunt or an uncle, or
- a step parent.
Your child may be privately fostered for many reasons, this may be because:
- You are unable to care for their children, for example, if you have chronic ill health
- You have sent your child from abroad to stay with relatives, often to improve their education
- You are currently experiencing difficulties in your relationship with your child and they are staying in the short-term with friends
- Your child is living with host families whilst taking courses of study
If you live in North Yorkshire and you are considering a private fostering arrangement for your child, or know that your child is being privately fostered, you must tell Children’s Social Care immediately through the Customer Service Centre on 01609 780 780 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is an offence not to. You will be sent a Standard Notification Form to complete and sign.
A private fostering arrangement does not mean that your child is in care, but North Yorkshire County Council’s Children’s Social Care team is legally responsible for the welfare of all privately fostered young people in the county and has to make sure that your arrangements are suitable. A social worker needs to be involved and they will provide advice and support to you, your child and the private foster carer. They can also help by contacting other agencies who may be able to reduce the need for your child to be privately fostered, if that is possible and is the best thing for them.