During Private Fostering Awareness Week 2021, 4 to 10 October, Knowsley Council is raising awareness and highlighting how to let them know about private fostering arrangements.
Local authorities across the country are concerned that private fostering arrangements are not being reported due to a lack of awareness and that the children living in this arrangement may be left vulnerable or at risk.
But what exactly is private fostering?
Private fostering is an arrangement whereby a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if the child has a disability) is placed for 28 consecutive days or more in the care of someone who is not the child’s parent(s). The private foster carer becomes responsible for the day-to-day care of the child whilst the parent retains parental responsibility
Some examples of private fostering arrangements include:
- Parents are ill and may be in hospital.
- Children or young people from overseas who visit this country for education or health care reasons.
- Children or young people who are living with a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend’s family because of parental separation, divorce or arguments at home.
- Children or young people whose parents work or study long or anti-social hours.
- Children or teenagers on school holiday exchanges that last more than 28 days
- Children or teenagers who are on sports or music sponsorships living away from their families.
Why does Knowsley Council need to know if I am caring for another child, or if my child is being cared for by someone else?
Knowsley Council need to be made aware of any arrangements so that they can carry out some essential steps to make sure that the child or young person being looked after is safe, well cared for and happy as well as providing carers’ with fostering support and guidance.
If you are a parent making private fostering arrangements or a carer about to enter into a private fostering agreement, please get in touch with our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) before the arrangement begins.
To contact the team and for more information call 0151 443 4311 or visit https://www.knowsleyscp.org.uk/professionals/private-fostering/
How can I learn more about private fostering?
To learn more about private fostering, and the process for informing Knowsley Council about a private fostering arrangement, take a look at the Private Fostering Information booklets.