What is private fostering?

Private fostering is different to fostering. When you are privately fostered, social workers don't arrange where you live, but they do have to visit and make sure it is safe for you. Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 (or 18 if disabled) lives for 28 days or more with someone who is not a:

  • Parent (including step parent)
  • Legal guardian or person with parental responsibility
  • Close relative (like grandparent, brother or sister, aunt or uncle)

The council has a legal duty to make sure that all private fostering arrangements are safe for the child. We have to ensure that the child or young person is being looked after properly, that appropriate arrangements are agreed between parties and that everyone involved knows who to ask for help if advice or support is needed. There are many private fostering situations. Examples include children or young people:

  • Who are living with a friend's family because of problems at home
  • Who are living with their boyfriend's or girlfriend's family
  • Who are staying with another family because their parents have divorced or separated
  • From overseas staying with another family while attending a school