What is private fostering?

From 1 July 2005, the government introduced new legislation and guidance on private fostering.


Private fostering is when a child or young person aged under 16 (or 18 if they are disabled) is cared for and provided with accommodation for 28 days or more by an adult who is not a close relative.


It is normally a private agreement between a parent and another adult. Private foster carers may be from the extended family such as a cousin or great aunt, a friend of the family, the parent of a friend of the child, or someone previously unknown to the child’s family.


It is not a private fostering arrangement if the child is living with a close relative such as an aunt, uncle, step-parent, grandparent or sibling.


There are many private fostering situations. These can include:


  • children or young people who are sent to this country for education, health care by their birth parents from overseas
  • teenagers living with a friend’s family because they do not get on with their own family
  • children living with a friend’s family because their parents’ study or work involves unsociable hours, which makes it difficult to use ordinary day care or after school care
  • children staying with another family because their parents have divorced or separated
  • a child from overseas staying with a host family while attending school or overseas students at boarding school who stay with a host family during the holidays

Post 16


When privately fostered children become 16, private fostering ceases. The Private Fostering Social Worker will give support to help with the transition at 16. The privately fostered child at 16 is able to access advice and assistance from the 14+ team and they can be contacted at: The Council House, Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, DY8 2AA, 01384 817670.


You can also find more information at: http://www.dudley.gov.uk/resident/care-health/children-and-family-care/young-people-leaving-care/


It is a legal requirement to notify Dudley Council of a private fostering arrangement.


If you wish to notify Dudley Council of a private fostering arrangement you can do so by completing the form below


For further information and advice contact:


Angela Marsh

The Council House

Mary Stevens Park


West Midlands



01384 815833


To make a referral contact Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0300 555 0050





:: more on private fostering for parents and carers


:: more on private fostering for children and young people


:: more on private fostering for professionals


:: information about equality and diversity Policy



The British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) is the UK’s leading charity for children who have been separated from their birth families. BAAF issued their research 6th July 2015 into private fostering and found that 91% of the UK population did not know how to identify private fostering. Thank you for taking the time to read about private fostering in Dudley so we can start to address this problem. The BAAF research is available here for you to consider.



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