If you allow your child to be cared for by someone else for 28 days or more, and this has not been arranged formally by Cumbria Children's Services then this could be a 'Private Fostering Arrangement'. You should call Children's Services on 0333 240 1727 if you think that you are privately fostering a child.
Private fostering is a private arrangement made by the child’s parent (or someone with parental responsibility) and;
the child is under the age of 16 (or 18 if the child is disabled)
the child is living with a carer who is not a close relative (defined as: grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or stepparent by marriage)
the arrangement is expected to last for more than 28 days and on a full time basis
By law the Council must be informed about any private fostering arrangement to ensure safeguards are in place for the child and advice and support can be provided to the carer.
As a Private Fostering is a private arrangement it can be hidden from agencies who have a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children. By law the council must be informed about any private fostering arrangement to ensure safeguards are in place for the child and advice and support can be provided to the carer.
Privately Fostered children can be vulnerable as they may not see their families very often. It is therefore important that their needs are assessed and their situation monitored to safeguard their wellbeing.