Private fostering placements are still being assessed and have definitely not been relaxed due to COVID19. In fact, it is even more important that we know about these young people as some of them have not seen their families for a year. Any young person who is not living with a close family relative (i.e. not grandparents, step parent by marriage, aunt or uncle or sibling) for more than 28 days is classed as being privately fostered and their placement needs assessing to ensure they are safe and their needs being met.
All such referrals have to go through the MASH for children at: mash-children@Oxfordshire.gov.uk and when the MASH has completed their checks the Private Fostering team complete their assessments which includes seeing the child/young person alone and their accommodation.