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Private fostering

What happens next?

By law, you are required to advise St Helens Borough Council about any private fostering arrangement:

a) if you have already placed your child with private carers, you must notify our Children and Young People's Services immediately (within 48 hours) on telephone number 01744 676789.

b) if you have arranged, or are in the process of arranging, to place your child with private foster carers, you must give Children and Young People's Services at least six weeks' written notice of your intentions.

What happens after that?

We have a legal duty to check that the placement, the private foster carers and their premises are all suitable. So once you have told us about the proposed or current private fostering arrangement, the assessing social worker will ask the private foster carer for their permission to carry out our standard statutory checks.

These include:

  • Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service
  • Social services checks
  • Department of Health

Any other household member over the age of 16 will also have to agree to have these checks performed. If they do not agree to these checks, or a member of their household does not agree, we will not be able to proceed with the assessment and you will have to arrange for alternative care to be provided.