Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a 'close relative'.
This is a private arrangement made between a parent and a carer, for 28 days or more. Close relatives are defined as step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts (whether of full blood, half blood or marriage/affinity).
More information about private fostering is available below.
Are you a practitioner?
Be aware of private fostering/children cared for by the wider family or friends
All practitioners have a shared responsibility to be aware, identify and notify private fostering arrangements to Salford Children's Services. This is a legal requirement.
Private fostering is connected with legal requirements in the Children Act 1989. It is a safeguarding matter with deep implications for the welfare of children.
What is private fostering?
Private fostering occurs when children up to the age of 16 (18 if the child has a disability) are being looked after by other than parents, uncles/ aunties, grandparents or siblings for a period of 28 days or longer. This period can be interrupted occasionally and still remains private fostering.
The Children Act 2004 further established a duty to notify these arrangements even before its commencement.
What is not private fostering?
- Looked After Children.
- Children living in arrangements under the care of Educational Authorities.
- Children cared for by parents, uncles/ aunties, grandparents or siblings.
- Children who spend less than 3 days a week in the placement.
- Children who are cared for by distant relatives or friends at the parents' home.
What are the duties of Salford City Council?
- Identify privately fostered children.
- Undertake a placement assessment towards suitability.
- Monitor and support the placement to increase its stability and improve outcomes for privately fostered children.
- Mediate between parents and carers.
- Ensure the welfare of the child.
- Assist carers to provide and sustain appropriate standards of care.
- Help carers make the placement sustainable at all levels.
Who is your contact for queries or further information?
It is a statutory requirement on Salford City Council to appoint an officer to monitor the way a local authority discharges its duties in private fostering. This officer is based with the Fostering Team, please see contact details below.
Private Fostering Officer
Room 1.4, Salford Civic Centre
Phone 0161 779 7860
Details of all the latest news from the Salford Safeguarding Children Partnership.