What is Private Fostering?

Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if they are disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a ‘close relative’. This is a private arrangement made between a parent and a carer for 28 days or more. Close relatives are defined as step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts (whether of full blood, half blood or marriage).

To help us keep children safe and support families, all parents and private foster carers must notify the local council. If not, they miss out on essential welfare checks for the children, plus other support services.

These include:

  • Advice on claiming benefits and possible funding for some essential items
  • Parenting support and advice
  • Help in bringing families in crisis back together

If you know of a child being privately fostered please don’t ignore it. Speak to the child’s carer or inform your Local Office Team.


Are you caring for someone else’s child?

If you are caring for a child on a full time basis and you are not the child’s parent or close relative you may be viewed as a private foster carer. For more information please read our leaflet.

Private Fostering Leaflet

Private Fostering Poster


Is your child living with someone else?

If your child is living with someone else on a full time basis and is not living with a relative or someone who has parental responsibility, he or she may be considered to be privately fostered. For more information please read our information leaflet.

Is your child living with someone else leaflet