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Are you a private foster carer?

Legal requirements of private foster carers

To help us keep children safe and support families, all parents and private foster carers must notify the local council. If not, they miss out on essential welfare checks for the children, plus other support services.
These include:
  • Advice on claiming benefits and possible funding for some essential items
  • Parenting support and advice
  • Help in bringing families in crisis back together
If you know of a child being privately fostered please don’t ignore it. Speak to the child’s carer or inform your local council's private fostering team.
It is an offence not to notify the local council of a private fostering arrangement.

To help you understand the child and to care for them in the best way, you need information from the child's parents or close relative.

This will include:

  • their early history
  • their health
  • eating preferences
  • school
  • religious, cultural or ethnic background
  • hobbies

Not ready to call your council

If you would like to talk through your situtation with someone first, we have a list of charities for you to contact.

Voices of private fostering

  • Length: 8:12 minutes (7.53 MB)
  • Format: Stereo 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Listen to privately fostered young people and a private foster carer speak about their experiences.
Open the transcript for this audio content (pdf).



The publications listed will be of interest to anyone supporting or caring for privately fostered children and young people.