Staying safe

Private fostering

What is Private Fostering?

Private Fostering is when a child aged under 16 years (or under 18 if disabled) is cared for on a full time basis, by an adult who is not their parent or an immediate relative, for a period of 28 days or more. This is a private arrangement made between the parent and the carer.

Examples of private fostering

  • Children sent from abroad to live with other families, or extended family members, in the UK.
  • Children whose parents have paid someone to care for them whilst they are away working or studying.
  • Unaccompanied minors who are living with friends or strangers.
  • Teenagers living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Children who are attending schools in the UK and who live with a local family.
  • Children brought to the UK for adoption.
  • Children and young people who have to live away from their own family as a result of parental separation, divorce of arguments at home.

Children are privately fostered if

they are living with extended family, great aunts or uncles, cousin, former cohabitee of a parent or a non relative.

Children are NOT privately fostered if

they are living with a relative as defined by The Children Act: parent, grandparent, step parent, sibling, uncle, aunt, by full or half relation or by marriage.

If you are a parent or carer

Contact us straight away using the details below and we will let you know what you need to do next and how we will support you.

Contacting Children’s Services

To make a referral about Private Fostering, please use our online children’s portal:

For advice and general enquiries call 020 8379 2814

You can read more about private fostering by downloading our leaflet: