Private Fostering in Wakefield

A private foster carer is someone other than you or a close relative who cares for your child for more than 28 days.

This arrangement is made in agreement with a child's parent and applies to children under 16 years or under 18 if they have a disability.

Private Fostering
  • Who is classed as a close relative?
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    A close relative is a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or step-parent by marriage. So for a child to be privately fostered it would be where they are living with somebody who is not their parent or a close relative.

  • Who can be a Private Foster Carer?
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    Private foster carers can be part of the child’s wider family, a friend of the family, the parents of the child’s boyfriend or girlfriend or someone unknown but willing to foster the child.

When might a child be Privately Fostered?

Some of the common situations where a child is privately fostered include:

  • Where parents are unable to care for their children, for example if they have chronic ill health or are in prison
  • Where children from abroad are sent to stay with relatives, often to improve their education
  • Teenagers who have broken ties with their parents and are staying in the short-term with friends
  • Those living with host families whilst taking courses of study
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  • What do I need to do if my child is going to be Privately Fostered?
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    Parents (or those with Parental Responsibility) and the Private Foster carer must notify Wakefield Council (the local authority) of the name and address of the Private Foster carer 6 weeks before the start of the Private Fostering arrangement.

    If the arrangement is already in place, you must tell Wakefield Council immediately. If the arrangements is made in an emergency and is intended to last more than 28 days, Wakefield Council should be told within 48 hours of the child being placed.

  • How I do make contact with Wakefield Council?
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    For children who are not already accessing support from Children’s Social Care, you should call 0345 503 505 to speak to Wakefield’s Multi-Agency Screening Team (MASH).

    The MASH team will be on hand to support and will allocate a child to a social work team.

    For further advice on the Private Fostering process, contact the fostering team on 01924 302160.

  • What happens after my child becomes Privately Fostered?
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    Wakefield Council is not involved in making private fostering arrangements but is responsible for checking the arrangements are suitable for a child.

    After a notification has been made, Wakefield Council’s Children and Young People’s Services will make contact with a parent, foster carer and child to arrange a visit and make sure the right support is in place along with on-going monitoring of the arrangement.


Further Information on Private Fostering in Wakefield

For further information on Private Fostering in Wakefield please see:

Wakefield Council Fostering page

Private Fostering in Wakefield Leaflet

Private Fostering One Minute Guide

Wakefield Council Private Fostering Statement of Purpose 2021-22

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