Fostering if you aren't a close relative

Private fostering

Help us to identify children and young people in private fostering

Do you know a child who's living with someone who isn't a parent or close relative? This is called private fostering and we need to know about it to ensure the child is safe.

Telephone: 0300 300 8585

What is private fostering?

A private fostering arrangement is one that is made without our involvement, for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative, for 28 days or more.

Private foster carers are...

Examples of private fostering might include a child or young person living with:

  • great grandparents
  • godparents
  • great aunts or uncles
  • family friends
  • step parents where the couple are not married
  • cousins
  • host family who is caring for a child from overseas whilst they are attending education

Private foster carers aren't...

Private fostering doesn't include a child or young person living with:

  • brothers
  • sisters
  • grandparents
  • aunts
  • uncles
  • step parents where the couple are married
  • mother
  • father

You need to let us know if you're privately fostering

It is a legal duty for parents or the private foster carer to notify us that this is the case. We also urge anyone who works with children or young people to help identify those potentially vulnerable children.

Help us to keep children safe and support families in your local community by informing us of these arrangements:

Telephone: 0300 300 8585