When might you be a private foster carer for the child and how does this affect you?

You are a private foster carer if you are:

  • caring for the child who is not looked after in the care system and
  • you are not a close relative of the child and
  • you think you are going to care for the child for more than 28 days, and
  • the child is under 16 or 18 if disabled,

In this case you must tell Children’s Services that the child is living with you. Social workers should visit you regularly to check that everything is all right for the child.

The child is not looked after, and the only people with parental responsibility are likely to be the child’s mother and father. This means that you have to check with them about a lot of things you do with the child. For example, you might need to check with them that it was all right for the child to go on a school trip. Also they could take the child home even if you don’t agree, whenever they like.