A private fostering arrangement is one that is made privately for the care of a child under the age of 16 (or under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more.
Private foster carers may be from the extended family, such as a cousin or great aunt. A private foster carer may be a friend of the family, the parent of a friend of the child, or someone previously unknown to the child’s family who is willing to privately foster a child.
If a private fostering arrangement is made, there is a legal obligation on carers and parents to notify the local authority.
If you are told or made aware of a possible private fostering arrangement you must notify Children’s Services who will ensure that the child is safe, healthy and happy and can offer support to private foster carers and parents where needed.
For more information, see our updated Practitioner Guide on Private Fostering.