Council urges private foster carers to get in touch

Published Monday, 4 July 2016

In Private Fostering Week from 4 July, Bromley Council is reminding residents that those caring for children who are not their own for more than 28 days must get in touch, by law.

A private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made privately, without the involvement of a local authority, for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative and lasting for 28 days or more. Private foster carers may be from the extended family, such as a cousin or great aunt. However, a person who is a relative such as a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether full or half blood or by marriage) or step-parent will not be a private foster carer. A private foster carer may be a friend of the family, the parent of a friend of the child, or someone previously unknown to the child’s family who is willing to privately foster a child. The child must be cared for and accommodated by the private foster carer continuously, with the exception of occasional short breaks and there may be exemptions under the Children Act 1989.

Councillor Robert Evans, Executive Member for Care Services said: “It is often at difficult times that private foster carers step in to do a good job of caring for children who need their help. However, to make sure they are getting the support they need and to comply with the law we want to send out a message to private foster carers and parents to get in touch if this arrangement goes on continuously for 28 days or more.”

As well as appealing to members of the public, the council is also asking school and health professionals to help spread the word. If you know about a private fostering arrangement then you must contact Bromley Children’s Social Care Referral and Assessment Service at the Civic Centre.

Call weekdays on 020 8461 7373, email: or visit


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