What is private fostering?

Private Fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or under 18 if disabled) lives with someone for 28 days or more by private arrangement (without the involvement of a local authority) with someone who is not a:

  • parent
  • close relative (brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent or step parent)
  • guardian or a person with parental responsibility

Private foster carers might be

  • friends of the child’s family
  • someone willing to care for the child of a family they don’t know; or relatives not mentioned in the list above, for example a cousin or great aunt

Examples of private foster care arrangements

  • children sent to this country for education or health care by parents or guardians living overseas
  • teenagers living with a friend’s family as a result of problems at home
  • children on holiday exchanges
  • children whose parents’ study or work involves unsociable hours, which make it difficult for them to use ordinary day care or after school care

Reporting an arrangement

All Private Fostering arrangements should be reported to CADT (666 2008). All Private Fostering notifications received by CADT will be transferred to the appropriate district social work assessment team and the Safeguarding Unit will be notified.

Further information about Private Fostering including procedures and training can be found on the WSCB website.