What is private fostering?

Private fostering is where a private arrangement has been made by the child’s parent (or someone with parental responsibility) and;

  • the child is under the age of 16 (or 18 if the child is disabled)
  • the child is living with a carer who is not a close relative (defined as: grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or stepparent by marriage)
  • the arrangement is expected to last for more than 28 days and on a full time basis

Many parents who've arranged for someone else to care for their child often don’t realise they have entered into a private fostering arrangement.

If you're looking after someone else’s child who is not a close relative then the law says you need to let the local authority know. 

Access a one-minute guide to private fostering.

Please also help us to raise awareness of private fostering by downloading and printing the poster and displaying in your place of work. 

You can download leaflets containing further information relevant to different audiences: