You are a private foster carer if you look after someone else's child or teenager on a full time basis for more than 28 days and you are not a close relative. Step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts are all classed as close relatives. The child should be under the age of 16 (18 if they have a disability).
The law requires you to tell your local council about any private fostering arrangements:
- at least six weeks before the arrangement starts
- within 48 hours of the start of an emergency arrangement
Please let us know using the Private fostering enquiry form.
Examples of private fostering situations:
- children sent to this country for education or health care by parents overseas
- children living with a friend's family as a result of parents separating, divorce or arguments at home
- teenagers living with the family of a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend
- language school children or young people living with host families
Information for parents and guardians
Information for young people living away from their parents
Information for carers
Information for professionals
Private Fostering report to the Local Safeguarding Children's Board - Nov 2013
Somebody else’s child web site
To email us, please contact Southampton Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) at email@example.com
You can also contact us by telephone on 023 8083 3336 – please ask for private fostering.
If you would like any information on this page in a different language or format, complete the private fostering enquiry form shown above.
To help us let others know what a private fostering arrangement is, please print out and distribute these posters.