What happens if you're in private foster care.

Your parent might need to ask someone else they know to look after you. For example, if:

      • they need to stay in hospital for a while
      • they are going to live abroad
      • you're not getting on well with each other

The person who they ask to look after you might not be a close relative. If this is the case, it means you're in private foster care.

You don't need to worry about being in private foster care. We're here to help you and make sure you're being looked after.

What happens when someone tells us you're in private foster care

Once someone has let us know you're in private foster care, a social worker will visit you and the people you're living with. They'll also contact your parents.

The social worker will ask you a few questions to check if:

      • you're happy where you're living
      • your parents are staying in touch with you
      • you have any religious practices that you want help to carry on with
      • you're from a different ethnic or cultural background to your carers, and need help with this from your carers

The social worker will write a report. We'll look at this report to decide if the place where you're living is safe and the best place for you to be. Your social worker will tell you what our decision is within 42 days.

If we're happy with the report, you'll stay with your carers. Your social worker will visit you at least once every six weeks to make sure you're safe, healthy, happy, doing well in school or college and that your needs are met.

If you're not happy with the report, you'll have to go back to your parents.

If you need help or advice

If you're unhappy about something or have any worries, you should talk to your parents or carers.

You can ask your social worker to visit more often. You can also ask to see them alone.

You can also talk to an advocate. Advocates are independent from us and they'll help you say what you want in a letter, phone call or in meetings with your parents or social worker.

You can speak to an advocate from Reconstruct by:

      • freephone: 0800 389 1571
      • text: 0122 578 0145
      • email: yourvoice@reconstruct.co.uk
      • asking your social worker to put you in touch with one

What happens when it's time to move back home

Your parents and carers will agree when it's time for you to move back home and they'll let us know.

It may be upsetting when you have got used to living with your carers, but your social worker will be there to help you when you move home.

Depending on your situation, your social worker may continue to visit you once you move home.