School tours available on the first Wednesday of every month. Come along for a short talk from the Headteacher followed by a tour of the school. Book your place via the School Tours page. St Scholastica’s welcomes children of all faiths and none. You do not have to be a Catholic to attend our school.

Private Fostering

What is Private Fostering?

Private fostering is looking after somebody else's child.

Private fostering is when a child or young person under the age of 16 (or under age 18 if the child or young person is disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a 'close relative' for 28 days or more. This is a private arrangement made between a parent and a carer.

If a child is looked after by any of the people below, it is not a private fostering arrangement;

  • Biological parents or step parents
  • Biological grandparents or step grandparents
  • Biological uncles and/or aunts
  • Half or full siblings

People become 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 a child of a family they do not know such as;

  • Neighbour
  • Friend
  • Child's or young person's friend's parent(s) or family
  • Great aunt or uncle
  • Non biological aunt or uncle
  • Cousin
  • Great grandparent
It is not a private fostering arrangement if the placement was made by a social worker who has intervened on behalf of the local authority

Why and when are children privately fostered?

There are many reasons why a child may be in a private fostering situation. They include:

  • living with a family friend because of a family crisis
  • a teenager (possibly a teenage parent) is living with friends or neighbours
  • their parents may be studying or working unsociable hours
  • refugee and homeless children
  • children with parents overseas
  • trafficked children

Hackney Council has a legal duty to ensure that children and young people in this situation are safe and properly cared for. Under the Children Act, you must tell the Council if you are entering into a private fostering arrangement.

Please note: it is an offence not to notify the Council of such an arrangement.

You must contact us immediately if:

  • you are already looking after someone else's child
  • If you intend to look after someone else's child for more than 28 days
  • If you know of someone who is looking after someone else's child in a private fostering arrangement in Hackney

If you are a parent or a private foster carer arranging for a child to be privately fostered you must contact us at least six weeks prior to the arrangement starting.

All professionals (e.g. health visitors, school nurses, teachers, religious leaders, tutors) have a legal responsibility to notify Hackney Council if they know of a child or young person who is being privately fostered or if it is being planned for them to be privately fostered.

If you want to talk to Hackney Council a child who is being privately fostered, call 020 8356 5500, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or email