Private fostering

What is private fostering?

​Do you have a child living with you who is not a close relative? Or is your child living with someone else for short while? It could count as private fostering which by law you must tell us about.

If a child

  • Is under 16 years old (or under 18 if disabled) and
  • Lives away from the family home for more than 28 days and
  • Is not living with a close relative
  • This counts as private fostering and you must tell us about it.

A close relative is a:

  • Grandparent
  • Brother or sister
  • Uncle or aunt
  • Step-parent who is also a full or half relation by blood or marriage.

Private fostering can include:

  • Children sent from abroad to live with another family in this country
  • Children at boarding school who stay with another family during their school holidays
  • Overseas students who are living with a carer or host family for more than 28 days
  • A teenager living with friends or in the home of a boyfriend or girlfriend because they are not getting along with their own family
  • Children living with another family because their own parents are ill, in hospital for a long time or because of family breakdown.