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Private Fostering

Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership

Private fostering is an arrangement by which a child under 16 (or under 18 if disabled):

  • Does not live with a parent (or step parent),
  • Is cared for by an adult who is not a close relative (in this context a close relative is a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, including both full and half relations and relations by marriage),
  • Is in a private arrangement made by the parent and the carer,
  • Is being cared for by a carer in a different home which lasts, or is intended to last, for a continuous period of 28 days or more.

Examples of private fostering 

  • A teenager moves in with a friend’s family because of a breakdown in relationships at home, or parents move out of the area.
  • A child is left with the unmarried partner of his/her parent because of the imprisonment of the parent.
  • Host families looking after children at language schools or boarding schools during the summer holidays, where this is longer than 28 days.


Visit the Birmingham Children’s Trust website for useful resources and guidance on Private Fostering.


If you know or suspect that a child is being privately fostered, you should notify Children’s Services and inform the carer or parent of the referral. If you have any concerns about a child’s welfare, you should notify the local children’s social care immediately.

All enquiries and referrals, including Private Fostering notifications are to be made to CASS team on 0121 303 1888 (Mon-Fri office hours) or you can email

For more information on Private Fostering, visit CoramBAAF’s website.