A privately fostered child is a child or young person under 16 years (or under 18 years if they are disabled) who is being cared for and is living with someone else for more than 28 days who is not -
- a parent
- a relative, such as grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or step parent
- a person with legal parental responsibility for the child. This may have been a private arrangement made between you and the parent. Private fostering does not mean a child looked after by the local authority
Private fostering could include -
- children sent to this country for educational or health opportunities including cultural exchange students staying for a period more than 28 days
- children living with a friend's family as a result of separation, divorce or disputes at home
- teenagers living with the family of a friend
Notifying us of a private fostering arrangement
If a private fostering arrangement is being put in place, you must notify the Hull City Council, Adult, Children and Family Services, Central Duty Team.
Under the Children Act (1989) parents and carers must tell the local authority's social services department about the arrangement, at least six weeks before the arrangement is due to begin.
If the child is already living with you, we request that you inform us as soon as possible. If you don't tell us, you could be liable for a fine, we take responsibility for supervising the welfare of the child who is privately fostered, and are unable to do this if we do not know where the child is living.
Please complete a notification form to inform us of any private fostering arrangement
Statement of purpose
It is a requirement for all local authorities to publish a statement of purpose in relation to private fostering. This statement of purpose sets out to explain Hull City Council’s duties and functions in relation to private fostering and the ways in which this is conducted.
It aims to meet the requirements as outlined in the 1989 Children Act, the National Minimum Standards for private fostering which came into force on 18 July 2003 and the Children (private arrangements for fostering) Regulations 2005.
As a private foster carer, you have an obligation to tell us when the child is leaving your care. We may ask you why the child is leaving and ask for a forwarding address of the person who is looking after the child or young person.
You must have a clear understanding from the child's parents about their health, education, religious, ethnic and cultural needs in order for you to provide the best possible care for the child.
Help and support
Private foster carers can get advice and support. Once you have told us about the arrangement we send you a form to complete. We arrange a convenient time to come and visit you. This ensures the arrangements are made in the best interests of the child.
If the arrangement is to continue, we have the responsibility to provide suitable support, help and supervision throughout the private fostering arrangement. Training may also be offered to help you.
Government legislation and guidance
Legislation and guidance relating to private fostering is available on the Hull Safeguarding Children Board website. The Hull Safeguarding Children Board website covers -
- The Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005
- Replacement Children Act 1989 Guidance on Private Fostering
- National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering