Private fostering

What parents should do

If you are a parent (or guardian) planning or already involved in a private fostering arrangement you must inform the council in the area your child will be living – if possible six weeks before the arrangement starts and immediately if the arrangement has been made in an emergency. Not everyone realises this is a legal duty.

As the parent (or guardian) you still retain parental responsibility for your child throughout the time they are being privately fostered, even though your child is not living with you.

It is very important that you and the private foster carer agree on how your child will be cared for. You should also provide the private foster carer with as much information about your child as possible, including about their:

  • health and medical needs
  • education (also let your child’s school know)
  • dietary requirements and preferences
  • interests
  • ethnicity, culture and religion.

Any financial arrangements should be agreed between the parent and the carer. You must also ensure that you are involved in all the major decisions concerning your child.

Contact the council’s children’s services on telephone: 020 8825 8000.