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Private Fostering

Many people find themselves looking after someone else’s child without realising that they may be involved in private fostering.

A private fostering arrangement is one that is made privately by the parent or person with parental responsibility (that is to say without the involvement of a local authority) for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18, if disabled) by someone other than a parent or immediate relative.

A relative under the Children Act 1989 is a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether of full blood or half blood or by marriage or civil partnership) or step parent. A private fostering arrangement lasts for 28 days or more.

People become involved in private fostering for all kinds of reasons. Examples of private fostering include –

  • children where arrangements are made due to parental illness or distress or when parents’ work or study involves long or antisocial hours
  • children sent from abroad to stay with another family, usually to improve their educational opportunities
  • asylum seeking and refugee children
  • teenagers who stay with friends (or other non-relatives) because they have fallen out with their parents and who may not be in touch with agencies such as education services
  • children staying with families while attending a school away from their home area
  • children from overseas whose parents do not reside in this country

Parents of a child who is being cared for by someone else, or those caring for the child have a duty to notify Hull City Council in order that they can check that the young person is being properly cared for and that the arrangement is satisfactory.

Notify us of a private fostering arrangement

The following form should be used to notify us that a private fostering arrangement is being put in place.

The form can be completed by parents, proposed or actual private foster carers, or professionals.

Additional information can be found on the Hull City Council website (link opens in new window)

Government legislation and guidance

This guidance replaces Chapter One of Volume 8 (Private Fostering and Miscellaneous) of the Children Act 1989 guidance, which was first published in 1991, and incorporates guidance on the new measures in the Children Act 2004, and in the Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005.

The Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005 (link opens in new window)

Replacement Children Act 1989 Guidance on Private Fostering (link opens in new window)

This document contains the National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering which came into force on 18 July 2005, and the Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005.

National minimum standards on private fostering (link opens in new window)