Most children spend some time staying with friends and relatives.
If a child goes to live with an adult who is not related to them for 28 days or more, this is known as "private fostering".
The law says that the Local Authority must be notified when parents make arrangements for their child to be cared for by friends, neighbours or extended family for more than 28 days.
This is because the Local Authority needs to make sure that any child who is living for long periods with unrelated adults is:
- well looked after;
- receiving a proper education;
- living with someone who can keep alive their own identity and background;
- kept in contact with people important to them;
- given encouragement to develop and grow to their full potential;
- properly supported when they move into independence.
Whether you are a parent or carer who has made or is making a private fostering arrangement or you are working with a child who may be privately fostered; it is your responsibility to tell the Local Authority about it.