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How to spot a privately fostered child - checklist

Do you know a child being privately fostered? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. Whether you’re a neighbour, teacher, nurse or anyone else who has contact with children there are some signs to look out for. Request our checklist to see if you would spot them. Email:

image of a young man and woman pushing a little boy on a swing


Here is a list of books for anyone supporting or caring for privately fostered children and young people.

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.