Are you looking after someone else’s child? Let us know


Posted on: 30 June 2016

Devon County Council is using Private Fostering week, which runs from 4 to 10 July, to encourage people to get in touch if they have made private arrangements to look after someone else’s child, or children, for 28 days or more.

Private Fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they have a disability) is looked after for 28 days or more by someone who is not a close relative, a guardian or person with parental responsibility.

A close relative includes parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

This can include arrangements where children are on holiday exchanges which last more than 27 days, teenagers staying with a boyfriend/girlfriend’s family, or children living apart from their family due to family breakdown, parent’s ill health or if parents live overseas.

It also includes children from overseas living with host families in Devon while they study English, either through private arrangement, language schools or guardianship agencies.

By law Devon County Council must be informed about all private fostering situations, this is the responsibility of the child’s parents, private foster carer and anyone else involved in the arrangement.

When notified, the private fostering team works closely with the child, parents and private foster carer to ensure the best possible arrangements are in place for the child.

James McInnes, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Skills said; “People Cllr James McInnesbecome private foster carers for all sorts of reasons. Private foster carers can be a friend of the child’s family, or be someone who is willing to care for the child of a family they do not know.”
“The local authority offers a supportive role in these cases to help those looking after the children. We want to make sure the best possible arrangements have been made for the child and that they are safe, being well looked after and continuing with their education. There may be cases where child benefit payments need to be re-directed to the host family.”

“We will arrange to visit the child and private foster carers regularly and make sure that the child’s racial, cultural, linguistic and religious needs are being met and also offer support and advice to the child, their parents and private foster carers.”

To tell us about a private fostering arrangement or if you are unsure if your situation is private fostering, please call 0345 155 1071 or email For more information visit click here

Posted in: Community