Private fostering

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When a child under 16 (or under 18 if they have disabilities) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a close relative, we call this ‘private fostering’. This is a private arrangement made between a parent and a carer, for 28 days or more. ‘Close relatives’ are step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts.

If someone who isn’t a close family member is caring for your child, or planning to care for your child for 28 days or more, you need to tell us.

If you have been looking after someone else’s child for 28 days or more, the law says that you must tell us about it. Please contact us.

If you are aged 16 or under and are cared for by someone who lives with you, and is not your parent, legal guardian or close relative, you are being privately fostered.

If your parents have asked someone to look after you for 28 days or more it is called private fostering and the person looking after you is a Private Foster Carer.

There are lots of reasons why your parents might ask a friend or someone they know to take care of you for a while.  Lots of children are cared for in this way.

You can find more information about private fostering by clicking the links below.

Someone you know may have someone else’s child living with them. There are different reasons as to why they may have been asked to look after the child.

For more information, see our documents below.

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