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Private fostering

When a child or young person is looked after for more than 28 days by someone who is not their parent, legal guardian or close relative, this is called private fostering.

A close relative means a step-parent, grandparent, brother or sister, aunt or uncle by blood, marriage or civil partnership.

It is a legal requirement that private fostering arrangements involving a child under 16 (or under 18 if they're disabled) must be reported to the Local Authority to ensure that they will be looked after properly and that both parents and the foster carers understand their roles and responsibilities.

The Local Authority will work with the child, parents and the private foster carers to ensure that the best possible arrangements are in place for the child, including:

  • listening to what the child wants
  • arranging for a worker to support the child and the carer(s)
  • helping carer(s) to fill in the necessary forms to apply to be a private foster carer
  • helping to ensure that the child’s cultural, linguistic and religious needs are being met
  • workers are required to undertake regular visits to see the child and their carer(s)
  • workers offer support and advice and can signpost to other agencies as necessary

If you need to discuss or report a private fostering arrangement in Sheffield, please ring the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub on 0114 2734855

SCSP city-wide policy and procedure:

National guidance:

    Sheffield advice and support:

    To notify the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub about a private fostering arrangement use the Multi-Agency Confirmation Form and include the start date, the reason for the arrangement, the contact details & the date of birth for each child, parent and carer. 

    • For advice about private fostering, ring the Connected Persons Team, tel.: 0114 2736489

    Other relevant information can be found on this website here: Information and resources or in the index on the left side of this page.

    If you are concerned about a child or young person, follow this link: Referring a safeguarding concern to Children’s Social Care

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