Private fostering

What is private fostering

A little boy

Private fostering is when a child aged under 16 years (or under 18 if disabled) is cared for on a full-time basis, by an adult who is not their parent or an immediate relative, for a period of 28 days or more. This is a private arrangement made between the parent and the carer. Private fostering is an arrangement agreed between the child’s parent/s (or persons who have parental responsibility) and the person or family who will be caring for the child.

A private foster carer is someone who is not the child’s parent (or legal step-parent (including civil partnerships) or someone else with parental responsibility), grandparent, or sibling (including half-siblings).

Examples of private fostering

View our private fostering (PDF, 3184.32 KB).

Birth parent responsibilities

You must tell your Local Authority at least 6 weeks before the arrangement begins that you intend for somebody else to privately foster your child. However, if the arrangement is made in an emergency the notification must be made within 48 hours of the placement starting.

The information provided by birth parents to the private foster carer must include the child’s full name, date of birth, ethnicity, religion/beliefs, special needs, medical needs, school and doctor details. There should also be details about the reason for, and the intended length of the private fostering arrangement

Council’s responsibilities

Enfield Council’s Social Care has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in their borough and to ensure that those in private fostering arrangements are safe and secure.

To fulfil this duty, we will:

How to get in touch

If you know of a private fostering arrangement, you must contact Enfield Council’s Children’s Social Care. You can do this by contacting Enfield’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) by telephone on 020 8379 5555, or using Enfield’s online children’s service portal. You do not need to give your name when you get in touch.