Private Fostering

​​'Somebody else's child - everyone's responsibility'
Private fostering is an arrangement where a parent, or someone with parental responsibility for a child, arranges for their child or children to live with a carer who is not the child's guardian or close relative (grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother or step parent by marriage), for 28 days or more. Privately fostered children can be up to the age of 16 years (or 18 if disabled) and are looked after on a full time basis.
A private fostering arrangement might be put in place for example when: 
  • A child/young person’s parents work or study long and/or anti-social hours;
  • A child/young person is sent to the UK for education or health care by birth parents from overseas;
  • A child or young person lives with a friend's family as a result of parental separation, divorce or difficulties at home;
  • A teenager lives with their partner's family.

Sometimes parents don’t realise that the arrangements they have made for their child or children are private fostering arrangements. It is important to think about this and let the local authority know. The law says that in these arrangements the local authority has a duty to ensure the child is safe and well cared for. 

You can contact us on 0113 222 4403. 

If you are a professional person involved with a child and their family please contact us on 0113 376 0336.​

The ‘Private Fostering Statement of Purpose’ document that can be accessed from the link on this page identifies the requirements/rights and responsibilities of the private foster carer.​

Does your child live with someone who is not a close relative? 
Are you looking after someone else’s child?
Do you know  a child who is looked after by somebody other than their parents?
Then the council needs to know so that we can make sure the child is safe and well cared for. They are somebody else’s child but everyone’s responsibility.
Read our case study on private fostering here: We​ are family​​​​

Try the play buzz quiz on private fostering.

Useful documents: