Private fostering is an arrangement where a child or young person lives with someone who is not a close relative. It is not the same as fostering arranged by us.
Are you a private foster carer?
You are a private foster carer if:
- you look after someone else's child
- this child is below the age of 16 (18 if disabled)
- you are not the child's parent, grandparent or other family relative, legal guardian or have parental responsibility
- you have been caring for them for over 28 days.
Why are children privately fostered?
Parents sometimes arrange for their child to live with someone else because they have to:
- go abroad for lengthy periods
- be admitted to hospital
- complete full time education lasting several years
- end a relationship.
Private fostering may also occur when children or young people are:
- sent from abroad to stay in the UK for educational or health reasons
- live away from home because they do not get on with their family.
How can we help?
We do not recruit private foster carers, but we have a legal duty to make sure that children are protected from harm. We can therefore provide support and advice to:
- children who are privately fostered.
If you believe you are a private foster carer, or you are thinking about placing your child with a private foster carer please contact our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) by:
- Telephone: 0300 500 8090