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Are you, or is someone you know, looking after someone else's child?

Published on 02 October 2020 Print

Do you know what ‘private fostering’ is? Would you know how to recognise it? Would you know who to report it to?

When a parent arranges for their child to live with someone else, such as a distant relative or family friend and they remain there for longer than 28 days, this is called a Private Fostering arrangement.

Privately fostered children may need extra help. The carers of privately fostered children may need extra support.

Here are some examples of private fostering arrangements.

A 15-year-old has been staying with his girlfriend’s parents following an argument with his mother. It was agreed that he should stay there until the situation at home had calmed down. So far, he has been at his girlfriend’s for 4 months

A woman is due to appear in court and expects to receive a custodial sentence. She asks the godmother of her 6-year-old son to look after him. The child is expected to stay with his godmother for at least 3 months.

A 14-year-old student from France will be visiting the UK on an exchange programme. The student will stay with a ‘host’ family for 6 weeks.

A man is father to a 12-year-old girl. The man and his girlfriend have recently separated and he has moved out of the house they all shared. As he is now living in a small bed-sit, he has left the 12-year-old with his ex-girlfriend, who is happy to continue to care for her, saying that it prevents her from having to change schools.

If you know of a child who lives with someone who is not their parent, grandparent, aunt / uncle or brother / sister then call the Initial Response Service, who will ensure the family receives the help they might need.

Walsall Initial Response Service 01922 658170