Private fostering: when you’re looking after someone else’s child

Private fostering: when you’re looking after someone else’s child

What you need to do if you’re privately fostering or planning to privately foster someone else’s child.

Tell us about private fostering arrangements

If you’re privately fostering a child or you’re planning to privately foster a child, it’s against the law not to tell us.

How to tell us and what happens next.

A parent might ask you to look after their child. For example, if:

  • they need to stay in hospital for a while
  • they are going to live abroad
  • you’re not getting on well with each other

You need to:

  • make sure the parents give you as much information as possible about the child
  • make sure the child is healthy, happy and safe
  • speak to the parents and agree who will cover the costs of looking after the child

If the child leaves your care permanently, you need to tell us within 48 hours and give us the name and address of the person who will be looking after the child.

Benefits that private foster carers can claim

You can apply for some benefits that parents get:

If you want to claim Child Benefit, you’ll need to tell the parents of the child, because only one person can get Child Benefit for the child.

You might be able to get other benefits that parents normally get. You should get specialist advice about benefits as a private foster carer. You can get help from Citizens Advice Bristol.