Private Fostering Service

Outstanding Kids also provides the private fostering  unique service to our clients who may require this service due to circumstances beyond their control or perhaps needed a break to recoup.  We provide a secure, safe and home from home private fostering service for children aged between 0 – 16 plus.  Spaces are limited and are available on a first come first serve basis. All private fostering arrangements are made directly with Outstanding Kids. We are open to only private referrals.

How does private fostering work?

A private fostering arrangement is an arrangement that is made privately (without the involvement of a local authority) for the care of a child under the age of 16 years (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative, in their own home, with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more. (*Close family relative is defined as a ‘grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt’ and includes half-siblings and step-parents; it does not include great-aunts or uncles, great grandparents or cousins.)

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Children may be placed for the following reasons:

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The Duty to refer to the Local Authority

Mimi Nanny and each party involved in the private fostering arrangement has a legal duty to inform the relevant local authority at least six weeks before the arrangement is due to start. Not to do so is a criminal offence.

Once the notification has been made to the authority, Children’s Services have a duty to visit and speak to the child, the parent and the foster carer; and everyone in the foster carers household. Children’s services will then undertake a range of suitability checks including DBS checks on everyone in the household over the age of 16.

Other professionals, for example GPs surgeries and schools, also have a responsibility to report to the local authority where they are aware or suspect that a child is subject to a private fostering arrangement. (see ‘Replacement Children Act 1989 Guidance on Private Fostering 2005 paragraph 2.6)

Note that although schools have a duty to inform the local authority, there is no duty for anyone, including the private foster carer or social workers to inform the school. However, it should be clear who has parental responsibility.

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

No. The term ‘Looked After Children’ means children who are looked after by the local authority. Privately fostered children are outside the care of the local authority.

Schools should not therefore code children in private foster care as ‘LAC’.

For parents and families of children places in Mimi Nanny Private Fostering care’  peace of mind, local authority have the duty to visit each privately fostered child at least every six weeks in the first year of the arrangement; and at least every twelve weeks in the second and subsequent year. In some areas schools are visited as part of this process to discuss the child with teachers.

The private foster carer has a duty to inform the local authority of any substantive changes to the arrangement or within the household.

There is no duty for schools to be given information about a child who is privately fostered by the family, carer or the local authority. There is however a duty on schools to inform children’s services where they become aware of such an arrangement.