Private fostering happens when a child is being looked after by someone other than a close relative for 28 days or more.
It is different to a fostering arrangement that is organised by the council and applies to any child up to the age of 16, or under 18 if the young person has a disability.
When parents make plans for their child to be cared for like this, regardless of how the arrangement came about or how good it may be for the child, it is private fostering.
By law the Local Authority must be notified when parents make arrangements for their child to be cared for by someone other than a close relative (for example; friends, neighbours or extended family) for more than 28 days.
Professionals who identify a private fostering arrangement must notify MASH directly via online referral form
When the Local Authority becomes aware of a privately fostered child it has a duty to assess the suitability of the arrangement and to make regular visits to the child and the private foster carer.
The Oldham Safeguarding Partnership procedure for Privately Fostered children can be found here