Advice for children living away from parents or family
What is private fostering?
You are in a private fostering arrangement if your parents or your close family asks an adult to care for you for a period of 28 days or longer in their home.
If you think you are living in a private fostering arrangement your carer must notify Lambeth Private Fostering Service as soon as possible on 020 7926 7081.
What support will Lambeth Private Fostering Service provide me?
The law says that the local council needs to know who is looking after you and where you are living to make sure that you are safe, happy and are being properly cared for.
When the council hears about the private fostering arrangement, it will arrange for a social worker to visit your home every six weeks to carry out an assessment of your carers and the environment in which you live. This is to ensure that you are happy in the home and feeling safe. You will also be asked about what you think about your situation and so will your parents if it is possible to contact them.
What should my private foster carer provide for me?
Whilst in a private fostering arrangement the carer should provide you with all the everyday care that you need for example:
- ensure that your health needs are taken care of
- make sure that you go to school and learn
- take you to the dentist to ensure that your teeth are properly looked after
- help you stay in touch with your family
- help you follow any religions and customs that are important to you
- give you regular meals
- make sure that you have a chance to make friends and take part in activities that you enjoy.
What should my private foster carer not do?
Your foster carer should not:
- change your name
- take you overseas without the agreement of your parents
- move you to another family without arranging this with your parents and informing the council
- Change your school without making an arrangement about this with your parents first
What do I do if I have problems with my private foster care arrangement?
You can contact your Private Fostering Service social worker or the Private Fostering Service administrator on 020 7926 7081 and ask to speak to a social worker.
Or write to: Private Fostering Service, 8th Floor International House, 6 Canterbury Crescent, Brixton, SW9 7QE
If you are concerned about your safety and welfare you can contact Referral and Assessment Duty on 020 7926 7868
You can visit or write to: Referral & Assessment Duty, 4th Floor, International House, 6 Canterbury Crescent, Brixton, SW9 7QE
Other helpful contacts
ChildLine - 0800 1111
NSPCC - 0800 800 5000
Children’s Legal Centre - 0845 120 3747