If you allow your child to be cared for by someone else for 28 days or more, and this has not been arranged formally by Cumbria Children's Services then this could be a 'Private Fostering Arrangement'. You should call Children's Services on 0333 240 1727 if you think that you are privately fostering a child.
A Private Foster Carer is someone who is looking after your child and who is not a close relative (such as your parents, or your adult sister or brother) and who is not paid, unless by you. Step parents are treated as close relatives if they are married to the parent. Brothers and sister-in law can be classed as close relatives too.
As a Private Fostering is a private arrangement it can be hidden from agencies who have a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children. Privately Fostered children can be vulnerable as they may not see their families very often. It is therefore important that their needs are assessed and their situation monitored to safeguard their well being.