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Private fostering

Private fostering is an arrangement made by parents, or someone with parental responsibility, for their child to be cared for away from home by another adult who is not closely related to the child.

It is not private fostering if the carer is a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or step parent.

Children and teenagers who are under 16 (18 if disabled) are considered to be privately fostered if they live with someone who is not a close relative for 28 consecutive days or more.

The law states that carers and parents must notify the children's services department of any private fostering before the arrangement begins.  If the arrangement has already begun then you must notify us immediately. You will then be contacted by a social worker who will visit and discuss the arrangements with you.  Children's services must make sure the child is safe, healthy and happy, and offer support and advice to private foster carers and parents where needed.

Teachers, health and other professionals have a responsibility to notify Wiltshire Council's children's services of any private fostering arrangement that comes to their attention.

 You must notify children's services if:

  • You are caring for someone else's child
  • You are making arrangements for your child to be looked after by a person who is not a close relative
  • You are a person who is aware of private fostering arrangements being made for a child

Contact us

Related links

British Association for Adoption & Fostering

Somebody else's child

Private fostering frequently asked questions

Parents frequently asked questions

Carers frequently asked questions

Facebook - Fostering in Wiltshire