Private fostering


Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they have a disability) is looked after for 28 days or more by someone who is not a close relative, guardian or person with parental responsibility. Close relatives include parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

It is not private fostering if the arrangement was made by a social worker at Staffordshire County Council or if the person looking after the child is an approved foster carer.

People become private foster carers for all sorts of reasons. Private foster carers can be a friend of the child’s family, or be someone who is willing to care for the child of a family they do not know.

Common situations may be:

  • children and young people living apart from their families

  • children sent to this country for education and health care by their parents

  • children whose parents work or study involves unsociable hours

  • children living with another family as a result of separation or divorce

  • teenagers living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend

  • children on holiday exchange.

Do you think a child might be privately fostered?

If you do become aware of any private fostering arrangements the local authority need to know. Please call 0300 111 8007 select option 1,then 3. 

Private fostering leaflet