The law states that if a child under the age of 16 (or under 18 if they have a disability) goes to live with someone who is not a close relative for 28 days or more this is known as 'private fostering'. This is a private agreement between a parent and another adult and private foster carers may be from the extended family such as a cousin or great aunt, a friend of the family, the parent of a friend of the child, or someone previously unknown to the child's family. It is not private fostering when a child is living with a close relative such as a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether blood related or through marriage.)
Privately fostered children could include:
- Children or young people who are sent to this country for education, health care by their birth parents from overseas.
- Teenagers living with a friend's family because they do not get on with their own family.
- Children living with a friend's family because their parents study or work involves unsociable hours, which makes it difficult to use ordinary day care or after school care.
- Children staying with another family because their parents have divorced or separated.
- A child from overseas staying with a host family while attending school, or overseas students at boarding school who stay with a host family during the holidays.
If you believe that a child is being privately fostered you should notify Slough's children's services. Call First Contact on 01753 690450.