Guide: Types of fostering

Private fostering

Private fostering is when an individual who is not a close relative of the child looks after a child under the age of 16, or 18 if disabled for 28 days or more. The arrangement is made privately not through the Local Authority. The Local Authority need to be notified of these arrangements and will assess the suitability of the arrangement. A close relative is defined as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles but not cousins, great aunts and great uncles or close friends. The child is not a child looked after by the Local authority and parental responsibility remains with the parent.

Private fostering is distinct from children and young people who can be in Local Authority care and are fostered by a privately run Independent Fostering Agency (IFA). Children and young people who are fostered with an IFA are not ‘privately fostered’.

To find out more about private fostering click here.