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Private fostering arrangements
Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they are registered disabled), is cared for by someone who is not a close relative for 28 days or more.
Close relatives include parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Some examples of private fostering include:
- children living with friends of the family on a long-term basis following family breakdown or a parent’s ill health.
- children whose parents work unsociable hours making it difficult for them to use day care.
- overseas students who are living with a carer or ‘host family’ for 28 days or more.
- children attending boarding school who live with another family during school holidays.
- a teenager living with friends or in the home of a boyfriend or girlfriend.
If you're involved in this type of arrangement the law says you must tell us. We have a duty both to make sure the child is safe and that the private foster carer has support.
What to do if you are part of a private fostering arrangement?
If you are (or are going to be) involved in a private fostering arrangement you need to contact our Children's Social Care service on 0191 277 2500 (week days 8:45am to 5pm).
- Arrange to visit the private foster carers and the privately fostered child
- Let the private foster carer know about any support that might be available to them
- Talk with the child about where they are living
- Keep in touch with the child’s parents about the arrangements for their child.