What is private fostering

Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if they’re disabled) is being looked after for 28 days or longer by someone who is not a close relative.

It isn’t private fostering if we make the arrangement, or if the person looking after the child is an approved foster carer.

Why people choose private fostering

Here are some of the more common examples:

  • sending children to stay with host families in the UK for school or health care
  • children living with friends because of parental separation or divorce
  • teenagers moving away from their family
  • if they study or work at unsociable hours and can’t provide ordinary daycare or after school care

Tell us about a private fostering arrangement in Bournemouth or Dorset

People can't always tell when just helping someone out with childcare becomes private fostering so it's best to let us know about it. That way we can make sure all the legal requirements are met and offer useful help and support to everyone involved, including:

  • visits from social workers
  • help filling in private fostering application forms
  • advice about benefits
  • help bringing families in crisis back together

Tell us about a private fostering arrangement if you are a language school, college or agent in Bournemouth or Dorset.

Page last updated: 21 May 2020
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Private fostering