Private fostering

Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or a close relative.

Close relatives are defined as:

  • step-parents
  • grandparents
  • brothers or sisters
  • uncles or aunts

They can be full blood, half blood or marriage/partnership.

This is usually a private arrangement made between a parent and a carer, for 28 days or more.

While many of these children will be fine, some could be at risk of abuse.

Tell us about private fostering

Phone: Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm) - 01708 433222 (Out of hours/weekends - 01708 433999)

Examples of private fostering

  • children and teenagers living apart from their families for a variety of reasons, eg a parent is ill, has had to temporarily move for work, or there has been an argument within the family
  • children with parents working or studying elsewhere in the UK
  • children with parents overseas
  • children on holiday exchanges for longer than 28 days
  • children living with host families while studying in the UK


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