Private fostering

Child with paper heart

Children who are cared for on a full-time basis by people who are not direct relatives are in a private fostering arrangement.

A Private Fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made, without the involvement of a local authority, for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative for 28 days or more.

Private foster carers may be from the extended family, such as a cousin or great aunt. However, a person who is a relative such as a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt (whether of the full or half blood or by marriage) or step-parent will not be a private foster carer.

If you know of a child in this situation, the law says you must notify the local authority so they can make sure the person caring for the child can receive information, support and advice and that child is safe.

Please call 0121 788 4300 if you are caring for, or if you know anyone who is caring for someone else’s child.

More about private fostering

Our help guides provide more information about private fostering:

You can also find further advice about private fostering at the CoramBAAF Adoption and Fostering Academy.