Private Fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (or under 18 if disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a ‘close relative’ for 28 days or more (Children Act 1989 s.66 England). Close relatives are defined as step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts (whether of full blood, half blood or marriage/affinity)
A Private Foster Carer is someone who is looking after a child and who is not a close relative.
If a child is cared for by someone else for 28 days or more, and this has not been arranged formally by Bury’s Children's Services then this could be a 'Private Fostering Arrangement'.
You should speak to a member of the DSL team within school and speak to MASH - Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 0161 253 5678 if you think that a child is being privately fostered.
As Private Fostering is a private arrangement it can be hidden from agencies who have a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children. Privately Fostered children can be vulnerable as they may not see their families very often. It is therefore important that their needs are assessed and their situation monitored to safeguard their wellbeing.