Hidden Children: Private Fostering Week 2017

This year Private Fostering Week takes place from 3-7 July 2017. Private fostering is when a child, under the age of 16 (18 if disabled), is placed for 28 days or more in the care of someone who is not their parent or close relative through a private agreement made between their parent and a carer. A close relative is a step-parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle or aunt.

To ensure that these children are being well cared for, it is a legal requirement that parents and carers notify their local authority before entering into these arrangements. Notification also enables children’s services to offer help and support to not only the children, but also to carers and parents as well.

There are an estimated 10,000 children living in private fostering arrangements in England and Wales, but last year only just over 1,500 notifications were made to local authorities. While most of these children will be safe, others may be at risk of abuse and neglect at the hands of their private foster carers. Those who come into regular contact with children can help identify these potentially vulnerable children and help by informing children’s services.

You may want to look at these Case Studies to help you consider the reasons and circumstances in which children may be placed in a Private Fostering Arrangement. You can also find out more about the vulnerability of these children by attending our training offer on Hidden Children: Working with Invisible Families


If you suspect that a child is living in an unreported Private Fostering arrangement in Brighton & Hove contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub through the Front Door For Families on 01273 290400.


Further information: