Private fostering describes an arrangement that lasts for 28 days or more, where a child (under 16 years, or 18 years if disabled) is cared for by someone who is not a close relative. Close relative means a grandparent, uncle, aunt, step parent or older brother or sister.
By law, parents and carers must notify their local authority of any private fostering arrangement.
More information from Essex can be found on the Essex County Council website.
Or you can find out more from Adoption and Fostering Academy