Private Fostering

Private fostering occurs when a parent arranges for a child to be cared for by someone other than a parent or a close relative for more than 28 days. (It does not apply where the child is placed by the Council, voluntary organisations, or as a result of certain court orders).

A close relative means either, a step-parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle - either by blood or marriage. A child is anyone under the age of 16 or a disabled young person under 18.

When can private fostering occur?

Private fostering arrangements can occur when:

  • Children from abroad are sent by their parents to stay with relatives, often to improve their education or to receive health care.
  • Children are staying with family friends as a result of parental separation, divorce, chronic illness or parents are in prison.
  • Teenagers who have broken ties with their parents due to conflicts at home and are staying with friends, or families of their boyfriends or girlfriends, or even strangers.
  • Asylum seekers or refugees who have travelled to this country with people who are not their parents or close relatives.
  • Children living with host families while they follow training courses.
Who qualifies as a private foster carer?

The following relations would not be classed as private foster carers, and therefore there would be no need to report the arrangement to the Council:

  • A separated parent
  • A step-parent
  • A partner with parental responsibility
  • A sister or brother
  • A special guardian
  • A grandparent
  • An aunt or uncle

If a child was living with one of the following, then the arrangement would be classed as a private foster case, and therefore it would have to be reported to the Council

  • A great aunt/uncle
  • A cousin or second cousin
  • A partner without parental responsibility
  • A friend of the family
  • The parent of a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend
What does Doncaster Council do?

When private fostering happens it is Doncaster Council's responsibility to:

  • Assess the suitability of the private foster carers.
  • Make regular visits to the child.
  • Monitor the overall standard of care.
  • Ensure that advice to carers, parents and the child is made available when needed.
What you can do?

Many professionals who work in education, health, social care or who come into contact with children and families may identify private fostering arrangements. They have a duty to:

  • Encourage the parent/carer to report the private fostering arrangement.
  • Provide information about private fostering.
  • Report the arrangement if the parent or carer fails to

Tel: 01302 737789 

Email: fostering&