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Private Fostering


Private Fostering is where the parent or parents of a child make a private arrangement with someone who is not a close relative, to care for that child for a period of 28 days or longer. The child must be under the age of 16, or under the age of 18 if disabled.


This course is intended for everyone, including parents and foster carers, children and young people, professionals and volunteers and members of the public. For example:

**Parents and private foster carers **need to be aware of their responsibilities around private fostering arrangement, including the requirement that they notify the local authority about such arrangements. It is also important that they are aware of the support the local authority can offer them

**Children and young people **who are the subject of private fostering arrangements should also be aware of what a private fostering arrangement means for them and what their rights are (including their right to have their views heard and taken into account)

**Professionals **and volunteers in the following categories may be in a position to raise awareness of private fostering arrangements with the Local Authority and / or parents and carers:

Social Care Staff

  • Services for young people and youth activity schemes
  • Schools and nurseries
  • Education welfare officers
  • Housing providers and housing officers
  • Drug and alcohol projects
  • General Practitioner's surgeries, health visitors, midwives and hospital staff
  • Refugee groups and organisations working with unaccompanied asylum seeking children
  • Police
  • Probation service
  • Youth Offending Teams
  • Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service
  • One-stop shops and drop-in centres
  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau and other advice centres

    About this course

    The course contains additional resource materials, useful links and a refresher guide.


    This course will enable you to: 

  • Learn what Private Fostering is
  • Look at the legislation and regulations that have an impact on Private Fostering
  • Understand the role and duties of local authorities with regards to Private Fostering
  • Discover what you need to do when you become aware of a Private Fostering arrangement
  • Learn where to go for further advice and guidance on Private Fostering


    Here are a few of the topics covered in this course:

    What is private fostering? | Private fostering agreements | What the private foster carer must do | What the birth parent must do | The risks of private fostering | Is this a private fostering arrangement? | The role of local authorities | Timescales for action | Private fostering assessment process | Legislation | Scenarios: Tim; Ellen; Emma; Luke; Bola