Parents & Carers

Private Fostering - Looking After Somebody Else's Child

Private Fostering is when:

  • a child under the age of 16 years (under 18 if they are disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a close relative, for 14 days or more.
  • Where a child is in a residential school or in hospital for a period of more than two weeks.

What is defined as a close relative?
Close relatives are defined as step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts. To be private fostering, the arrangement has not been made by the local authority, and the child or young person is not being looked after by an approved foster carer.

What if you are a private fosterer?
By law, the local authority has the duty to safeguard and protect children from harm, therefore by law the private fosterer should:

  • Inform the local authority as soon as possible that you are intending to or are currently privately fostering a child
  • Notify your local council within 48 hours of the child leaving your care, with the contact details of the person into whose care the child has moved.

How to notify the local council:

You may also find the following leaflets helpful - please click to download:

Private Fostering, A Short Film - Download

Private Fostering - FAQs for Parents

Private Fostering - A Guide for Children and Young People

Private Fostering - A Guide for Host Families

Private Fostering - A Guide for Carers

LSCB Private Fostering Policy