What is Private Fostering?
Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they are registered disabled), is cared for and provided accommodation for 28 days or more by someone who is not a close relative. Close relatives include parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Private fostering is very different from the care of children provided by local councils through approved foster carers.
There are a number of situations where private fostering occurs, or is required. Reasons for private fostering include:
- younger children placed with friends of the family on a long-term basis following family breakdown or 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 over 28 days;
- children in boarding schools who live with another family during school holidays; and
- a teenager living with friends or in the home of a boyfriend or girlfriend.