Private Fostering

Young girl resting her head on her handPrivate Fostering is when a child aged under 16 years (or under 18 if disabled) is cared for on a full time basis, by an adult who is not their parent or an immediate relative, for a period of 28 days or more.

This is a private arrangement made between the parent and the carer.

Examples of private fostering include:

  • If they are living with extended family, great aunts or uncles, cousin, former cohabite of a parent or a non relative.
  • Ethnic Minority children with parents working or studying in the UK.
  • Children with parents overseas.
  • Children living with host families for a variety of reasons.
  • Children on holiday exchange.

Children are not privately fostered if they are living with a relative as defined by The Children Act: parent, grandparent, step parent, sibling, uncle, aunt, by full or half relation or by marriage.

If you are a parent or carer, you must tell Children's Services at least six weeks before the arrangement begins, that you intend to privately foster a child.

If however the arrangement is made in an emergency, then you must tell Children's Services within 48 hours, this is now law.

For further advice or information about private fostering, please contact Children's Services between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Information on Private Fostering