Social services Caring for someone else's child

Private fostering

A privately fostered child is a child under 16 (or 18 if disabled) who is being cared for, for 28 days or more, by an adult who is not their parent, step parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister or brother.

It's usually a cousin or great aunt, a friend of the family, or someone who has agreed to take care of the child by private arrangement without involving the council.

The parent is still legally responsible for their child. We have a legal duty to ensure children in this situation are safe and well.

Telling the council

The law says that the council should be told of a private fostering arrangement by anyone who knows about it.

If you are caring for a child like this, or are the child's parent, or are a professional like a teacher or health worker, tell us straight away: 

What we'll do

When you tell us about a private fostering arrangement we will:

  • check your home and household are suitable 
  • offer you support and advice about caring for someone else's child 
  • help you meet the child's emotional, educational, physical and cultural needs 
  • help you to work together with the child's parents for the benefit of the child

Find out more 

Get more information from:



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