Private fostering arrangements

Private fostering arrangements

Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they are registered disabled), is cared for by someone who is not a close relative for 28 days or more.

Close relatives include parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Some examples of private fostering include:

  • children living with friends of the family on a long-term basis following family breakdown or a parent’s ill health.
  • children whose parents work unsociable hours making it difficult for them to use day care.
  • overseas students who are living with a carer or ‘host family’ for 28 days or more.
  • children attending boarding school who live with another family during school holidays.
  • a teenager living with friends or in the home of a boyfriend or girlfriend.

If you're involved in this type of arrangement the law says you must tell us. We have a duty both to make sure the child is safe and that the private foster carer has support.

What to do if you are part of a private fostering arrangement?

If you are (or are going to be) involved in a private fostering arrangement you need to contact our Children's Social Care service on 0191 277 2500 (week days 8:45am to 5pm).

We will:

  • Arrange to visit the private foster carers and the privately fostered child
  • Let the private foster carer know about any support that might be available to them
  • Talk with the child about where they are living
  • Keep in touch with the child’s parents about the arrangements for their child.

Need more information?

Telephone Children's Social Care on 0191 277 2500 (weekdays 8:45am to 5pm).



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