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Private fostering

What information do I need?

  • Your child's name, date of birth, religion, racial origin and language
  • How long you expect the child to stay with the carer(s)
  • Why the arrangement is needed
  • Your name and address and the details of anyone else who has parental responsibility for them
  • The date you expect the private fostering arrangement to start (or when the arrangement started, if it has begun)
  • The carer's previous addresses for the last five years
  • If you are aware of any criminal convictions of the carer(s)
  • If the carer(s) have applied to privately before and been disqualified

Once all the checks are complete, the worker will write a report about the carer(s), the suitability of their home, your involvement your child's views and the reasons and intended length of the foster care arrangement. Our Children and Young People's Services will then make a decision about the carer(s) suitability to become a private foster carer(s).

The worker will inform you about the decision and, as part of the arrangement, they may need to impose some requirements; for example, limiting the number of children a private foster carer may have living with them.

If the arrangement is agreed after the arrangement has been agreed, a worker will continue to support the private foster carer and your child. St Helens Borough Council has a legal requirement to see children in private foster care arrangements regularly, at least once every six weeks during the first year. If the child is old enough, there may be arrangements to see the child on their own.

There will be a review of the arrangements every 12 months.

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