Private fostering

After you tell us about a possible private fostering arrangement

As soon as we know about the arrangement, a social worker from our Safeguarding Team will visit the child in the home he or she is living in, within seven days, to check that he or she is:

  • Being given regular meals
  • In good health
  • Dressed in clean clothes
  • Going to school
  • Staying in touch with their family and friends
  • Being given access to their cultural traditions, including religion.

We will also tell the GP and school so that they can check the child’s health and school attendance.

If we decide that a child is NOT being privately fostered

If we decide that a child is not being privately fostered, we will either:

  • Close the case or
  • Continue to work with the family if we think the child may be at risk of harm or neglect.

If we decide that a child IS being privately fostered

If we decide that a child is being privately fostered, we will send a social worker from our Private Fostering Team to visit the home he or she is living in.

The social worker will report back to the Private Fostering Panel.

First year after we are aware of a private fostering arrangement

A social worker will then visit the private foster home every six weeks for the first year. The Private Fostering Panel will meet at the end of that year to review the case.

If the private fostering arrangement continues, the social worker will visit the foster family every 12 weeks until the child is 16 years old (18 years old if the child is disabled).

Supporting privately fostered children

We will give every privately fostered child a social worker who the child can contact at any time and who will see the child alone during every visit.

We will also:

  • Make sure that private foster carers and other people in the house are assessed and given a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Organise training courses for the private foster carers on matters such as child development and child protection
  • Check the child’s health at every visit and encourage carers to take the child to the dentist every six months and the optician every year
  • Take immediate action if we think that the child is at risk