Private Fostering Policy


Date reviewed: September 2018
Approved by LGB: 24th September 2018
Review frequency: Annually
To be reviewed by: Sarah Hadwin (Safeguarding Lead)



1 Introduction and Context

Most children and young people spend some time away from their home staying with relatives and friends. In cases where children/young people may stay for longer period of time special procedures may apply.
If a child or young person is under 16 (or if disabled under18) and living with a family member or friend for longer than 28 days this is then seen as Private Fostering. This does not have to be continuous; if a child/young person is staying with family members or friends that add up to 28 days or longer in any period of time this may then be seen as Private Fostering.
Private Fostering is an arrangement made by the parent with the carer who has agreed to look after the child/young person on their behalf. In some circumstances they may not have agreed or the circumstances of their living arrangements raises health, welfare and safety concerns for the child/young person.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.


 1.1 Our responsibilities

Lees Brook Community School fully recognises its responsibilities regarding Private Fostering ensuring staff are fully aware on how to identify a child/young person and the circumstances around Private Fostering. This includes a duty to report any instances to the Local Authority if it is believed the child/young person is possibly living in a Private Fostering arrangement.


1.2 Our Policy

Under the Children Act, 1989, the Local Authority has a duty to make sure a Private Fostering arrangement that the child/young person is in provides for their needs and safeguards his/her welfare.

Lees Brook Community School will ensure all Staff, Governors and Volunteers in the school are aware of this duty.

If a member of Staff, Governor or Volunteer becomes aware that a child/young person may be living in a Private Foster arrangement it is the responsibility of that person to report the details to the School’s Safeguarding Designated Lead (SDL) who will then make further enquiries to try and establish the circumstances.

The Safeguarding Designated Lead should seek advice from Children’s Social Care as to whether the child/young person is in a Privately Fostered arrangement under the regulations. If this is confirmed upon taking this advice a referral will be made by the SDL to Children’s Social Care.
Essential information for making a referral includes:-
• Full names and dates of birth for the child
• Address and daytime phone numbers for the current carer including mobiles
• The child's address and phone number;
• Whereabouts of the child (and siblings);
• Child and family's ethnic origin;
• Child and family's main language;
• Actions taken and people contacted;
• Special needs of the child, including need for an accredited interpreter, accredited sign language interpreter or other language support;
• A clear indication of the family's knowledge of the referral and whether they have consented to the sharing of confidential information;
• The details of the person making the referral.

Additionally, the referrer should include:
• Address and daytime phone number of the parent/parental responsibility holder

• Address and phone numbers of any other family members

• Any other helpful information regarding the parent/parental responsibility to assist an understanding of why this child/young person is not living with them.

Lees Brook Community School will work together with the Local Authority to help safeguard and promote the child/young person’s safety and welfare.


2 Safeguarding Roles and Responsibilities

All Staff (anyone who has contact with a child or young person) including, Volunteers and Governors have responsibility for the following:

• To ask parents/carers questions about their relationship with the child/young person if this is unclear, confusing or concerning.

• To follow up any discussion with a child/young person about their living arrangement when it is unclear, confusing or concerning.

• To have robust consent/trips/outings letters which clearly define the child’s relationship to the adult giving consent.

If a child or young person is living in a Private Fostering arrangement:

• To work with, monitor & report to the Local Authority ensuring the child/young person’s needs, safety & welfare are being met whilst in a Private Fostering arrangement.

• To assist with advising and supporting the carer(s) to undertake their duties whist the child/young person is living with them in a Privately Fostered arrangement.
3 Training
The Designated Safeguarding Lead/s will endeavour to read and cascade information on Private Fostering to school staff on a regular basis.
4 Management of the Policy
The DSL will ensure that they are familiar with this policy regularly updating all Staff, Governors and Volunteers regarding the legal requirements, and duties.

The Head Teacher will ensure that Private Fostering awareness forms part of Staff Safeguarding Induction and is included in the Safeguarding Training within the school.

The Head Teacher will report on issues or impact on the school in relation to Private Fostering to the Governing body.

The Governing Body will oversee the policy; ensuring its implementation and reviewing its content on an annual basis in line with the S175 Safeguarding Audit.


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