Home Children and Young People Is your child living with someone else?

Is your child living with someone else?

by Gemma Melling

If your child is not living with you or a close relative, have you let the local council know?

There are many circumstances in which a child may be living with someone other than his or her parent/s or a close relative. For example, your teenager could be living with their boyfriend or girlfriend’s family, or children could be living with a family friend following a family crisis or illness. These situations are what is called ‘private fostering’.

What does private fostering mean?

Private Fostering is when parents agree for a child to be cared for by someone other than themselves – or close relatives.

If this is the situation for your child you need inform the council about it so that support and advice can be provided for you and their carer, as well as ensuring your child’s needs, such as educational and health, are met.

What counts as a ‘close relative’?

A close relative in this situation is either a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or even step-parents. They could be related by marriage or a full or half-relation.

Partners of the mother or father are not classed as a relative. Neither are extended family members such as great aunts, great uncles or a parent’s cousins.

What do I need to do?

If you are making arrangements for someone, other than a close relative, to care for your child, you should let the council know at least six weeks before the child moves in with them.  If the arrangement is made in an emergency you must get in touch within 48 hours.

More information is available on the council’s website or by calling 0151 443 2600.