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Private fostering

Private fostering means a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if they’re disabled) is being looked after for 28 days or longer by someone who is not a close relative.

Why people choose private fostering

Here are some of the more common examples of private fostering:

  • children staying with host families in the UK for school or health care
  • children living with friends due to parental separation or divorce
  • teenagers moving away from their family
  • parents working unsociable hours and unable to provide ordinary day care or after-school care.

Tell us about a private fostering arrangement in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole

People can't always tell when “just helping someone out” with childcare becomes private fostering, so it's best to let us know about it. That way, we can make sure all the legal requirements are met and offer useful help and support to everyone involved. That may include:

  • visits from social workers
  • help filling in private fostering application forms
  • advice about benefits
  • help bringing families in crisis back together.