Adults who have a child or young person staying with them for more than 28 days could be private foster carers.
This status applies to someone who isn’t legal guardian of the child. However, close relatives like step-parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles wouldn’t be classed as private foster carers.
Individuals in this category could include a neighbour, family friend or someone previously unknown to the child or young person.
Parents make these arrangements for their children for a variety of reasons such as if they are working abroad, in hospital or if the child was sent from overseas to stay with another family. During this time the parent is still legally responsible for their child.
If there are parents, carers or professionals who are aware of private fostering arrangements they are legally required to tell the local authority.
Parents making private placements for their children need to let the council know in writing at least six weeks in advance. If this deadline has passed they are encouraged to contact Tameside Council immediately by contacting the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub.
The local authority will complete a written agreement between the parent and carer which covers financial, medical and contact arrangements.
Carers entering into an arrangement will need to have a prearranged visit from a social worker and undergo a DBS check for themselves and any other adults in the house.
Cllr Oliver Ryan, Tameside Council’s Executive Member for Children and Families, said: “I urge people with these arrangements to come forward and do the right thing. It’s vital we’re aware of these arrangements so we can safeguard the welfare of children who are potentially vulnerable and support carers.
“The private foster carers in the borough provide vital support to children and young people who may be going through a difficult period in life. It’s the carer’s responsibility to ensure the child has a stable home life which includes regular meals, a bed of their own, clean clothes and continued school attendance.”
Private foster carers or professionals who are aware of these arrangement need to contact Tameside Children’s Services via the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 0161 342 4101.
More information on these placements is available by visiting https://www.tameside.gov.uk/fostering/moreinfo/private.
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