We are legally required to make sure children who are privately fostered are being cared for by a suitable carer in an appropriate environment.

You need to tell us if you are thinking of placing your child with a private foster carer. Tell us at least six weeks before the arrangement is due to start, or straight away if the placement has already started. We will offer advice and help you to make the best arrangement for your child. It is your responsibility to ensure that the proposed private foster care placement is suitable for your child, but we will need to carry out checks on the private foster carer and their family members to ensure that they are meeting your child’s needs.

You need to give the carer as much information as possible about your child, including their health requirements, eating preferences, school, hobbies, religion and ethnic or cultural backgrounds. This will help the carer to understand your child and take better care of them.

You don’t give up your parental rights when you place your child with private foster carers. You remain the person with parental responsibility, and you should continue to be involved in all decisions concerning your child’s development. It is very important that you remain in frequent contact with your child.

To tell us your child is being privately fostered by someone, phone 01803 208100.