Tell us about private fostering

Tell us about private fostering

You must tell us about private fostering arrangements.

If the parent of the child being privately fostered or the private foster carer lives in Bristol, you must tell us about a private fostering arrangement.

It’s against the law not to tell us:

  • about a private fostering arrangement you’ve made
  • if you find out a child is being privately fostered and think that we haven’t been told

If the arrangement has already started, you need to tell us at once. If it hasn’t started, you must tell us six weeks before it starts.

To tell us about a private fostering arrangement, call  0117 903 6444 between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

What happens next

Within seven days of someone telling us, a social worker will visit the child, private foster carer and parents. This is to make sure the child is safe and that the arrangement is in the child’s best interests. We’ll also get information about all members of the private foster carer’s family, including health and criminal record checks for anyone over 16.

After this, a social worker will regularly visit the parents and private foster carers to give them support and make sure that the child’s needs are being met.

We’ll also give advice and support to the child to help them understand what the private fostering arrangement means for them.

What happens if we think the arrangement isn’t suitable

If we think the private fostering arrangement doesn’t meet the needs of the child, we can send a prohibition to the carer, which would stop them from privately fostering a child.

Instead of stopping the carer from privately fostering a child, we can set requirements on them to:

  • limit the number of children they can privately foster
  • make them improve the safety of their home
  • make them meet standards for the child’s accommodation

The carer can appeal to the family court at Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre if we send them a prohibition or set any requirements on them.