Many people find themselves looking after someone else’s child without realising that they may be involved in Private Fostering.

Private fostering is when a child or young person under age 16 (or under 18 if they are disabled) is looked after by someone who isn’t a close relative for 28 days or more. It isn’t private fostering if the arrangement was made by us or if the person looking after the child is an approved foster carer.

People become Private Foster Carers for all kinds of reasons. They may be a friend of the child’s parents, or a person willing to care for the child of a family they don’t know. Some examples of private fostering:

  • Children and young people (particularly teenagers) who are unable to live with their parents, therefore stay with a friend’s parents
  • Children from overseas who come to this country to study at local schools
  • Students at language schools (for 28 days or more)
  • Children from overseas on cultural exchanges or holidays in this country
  • Children whose parents have moved from the area, who then choose to stay with a friend’s family so they can continue their education