Do you know someone under 16* who is living away from their parents or a close relative?
[*or under 18 for a young person with a disability]
Private fostering is when a child under 16 (under 18 if they’re disabled) lives with an adult who is not a close relative for 28 days or more.
There can be lots of reasons why a child doesn’t live at home and their parent has arranged for someone else to care for them.
- They’re living with a family member because their parents are arguing or getting divorced
- Their parents work very late and cannot look after them
- They’ve moved in with the family of their boyfriend or girlfriend
- They were sent to this country for education or health reasons and their parents live overseas
If a child is not living with their parents or a close relative like a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt, then the law says you must notify your local authority. Many parents and carers are not aware of this and therefore do not notify the council.
A private foster carer does not have parental responsibility for a child which means they have to ask the parents about:
- Medical or dental treatment
- School trips
- Taking the child on holiday etc
What you need to do
If you or someone you know is aware of a private fostering arrangements, please notify us by completing our form:
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