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Fostering & Private Fostering


Fostering is about looking after children who cannot live at home.

As a foster carer you may be looking after a child from just a few days to several years.

You do not have to be a resident of Sandwell to apply, but we do ask our foster carers to be close enough to be able to attend the meetings and appointments that are part of fostering for Sandwell.

Get in touch – The best way to find out if fostering is for you is to contact Sandwell’s Fostering Team – we would love to hear from you.

Private Fostering

Private fostering might not be what you think it is. Private fostering occurs when a child or young person aged 0‑16 (or 18 if they have a disability) is cared for and provided with accommodation for 28 days or more by an adult who is not a relative, by private arrangement between the parent and carer.
A relative is a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt. They could be a full or half relation and could be related by marriage. The term also includes a step‑parent. A cohabitee of the mother or father would not qualify as a relative, neither would extended family such as a great aunt, great uncle or parent’s cousins.

It is a legal requirement for people who make arrangements for a child to be privately fostered to notify us of their intentions at least 6 weeks in advance, or in emergency cases, immediately after the child becomes Privately Fostered.

The Parents and the private foster carers are responsible for notifying us.

Once informed of the arrangement it is our job to check the suitability of private foster carers, to make regular visits to the child or young person and to ensure advice, help and support is available when needed.

Further information regarding private fostering can be located on the Sandwell Childrens Trust website.

If you are a parent that has made or is planning to make a private foster care arrangement, or you are caring for or intending to care for someone else’s child, please contact MASH on;
Tel: 0121 569 3100