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What to do if you are worried about a child

Private Fostering

private fostering

  • Is your child being looked after by someone who is not a close relative?
  • Are you looking after someone else’s child or do you know someone who is?
  • Are you a private foster carer?

Private Fostering is an arrangement when a parent asks someone who is not a close relative to look after their child under 16, or under 18 if the child is disabled, for 28 days or more. Although this is done by a private arrangement, legally the parent and the carer must notify the relevant Local Authority, Children's Services so that they can ensure that the child is being properly looked after.

Close relatives are defined as the child’s grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles or step-parents.

Private fostering is not the same as regular fostering as parents choose their private foster carers. The Council is not involved in the process. Parents or legal guardians still have full parental responsibility for the child.

Your responsibilities

Although the private foster carer will be taking on the day-to-day care of your child you will still have parental responsibility. You should remain involved in all important decisions concerning your child. It is up to you to ensure the private fostering arrangements are suitable for your child and that they continue to remain so. As the child’s parent, financial responsibility remains with you. Financial arrangements are made directly between yourself and the carer.

It is important you give the private foster carer as much information as possible about the child’s family history, previous life experiences, health and medical history.

More information:

Please contact your local authority area if you require further information or have any questions.

West Berkshire: child@westberks.gov.uk or 01635 503090

Reading: familyandfriends.referral@brighterfuturesforchildren.org or 0118 937 3641

Wokingham: triage@wokingham.gov.uk or 0118 908 8002


BWSCP Private Fostering Information Leaflet



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