What is private fostering?

When a parent decides that it is best for their child to be cared for by someone who is not their:

  • parent or step-parent
  • grandparent
  • brother or sister
  • aunt or uncle (by blood or marriage)

If this is for more than 28 days, it is a private fostering arrangement and the parent or carer must inform Bolton Children’s Services.

The 28 days doesn't have to be all in one go; it can be split over 12 months e.g. where a child is cared for three days a week, over 12 months.

Examples of children who might be privately fostered:

  • children staying with a friend of the family or the child’s friend’s parents as a result of separation, divorce or problems at home
  • children staying with extended family such as a cousin or great aunt
  • children staying with someone unknown who is willing to care for a child
  • children sent to this country for education or health care by birth parents living overseas
  • teenagers living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • children whose parents’ work or study involves unsociable hours, which makes it difficult for them to use ordinary day care or after school care
  • teenagers who have broken ties with their parents and are staying with friends or non-relatives
  • children living with host families whilst pursuing courses of study
  • children receiving respite care provided by someone other than a relative

Private fostering is not arranged, or paid for, by Bolton Children's Services