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Private Fostering

What is Private Fostering?

Private Fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if disabled) is looked after for 28 days or more by someone who is not their parent or a relative, and the arrangement was made privately.

Private foster carers can be from the extended family, e.g. a cousin or a great aunt, but not a relative as defined under the Children Act 1989, section 105:

‘A relative under the Children Act 1989 is defined as a ‘grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether full blood or half blood or by marriage or civil partnership) or step-parent’.

The private foster carer becomes responsible for the day to day care of the child whilst the parent retains parental responsibility

The law states you must inform Children’s Social Care if you know about any private fostering arrangements taking place. Walsall Council will be able to assist with forms and advise around financial arrangements, child benefits and support networks available.

(Private fostering doesn’t include when a child/children are looked after by a registered foster carer, which has been organised through the Council)

Please contact Walsall Council: 0300 555 2866.

We have created resources about Private Fostering:

A guide to private fostering for children

A guide to private fostering for young people

Private Fostering – 7 Minute Briefing