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

It is not private fostering if the carer is a close relative to the child such as step-parents, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt. This is known as Informal Family Care.

If a private fostering arrangement is made, there is a legal obligation on carers and parents to notify the Children’s Services Department in Hampshire County Council. They need to be sure that the child is safe, healthy and happy and can offer support to you as private foster carers and parents where needed.

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Private Fostering in Hampshire

For more information about Informal Family Care and Private Fostering in Hampshire, including how to inform Children’s Services please visit:


Help and Advice

For more information on Private Fostering please visit:



If a member of the public needs to let Children’s Services know about a Private Fostering situation they should be encouraged to ring on:

0300 555 1384

Professionals should use their usual referral routes.