Private Fostering

Private Fostering

Private Fostering

14 Jul 2017

Are you looking after someone else's child?

If you know someone who is looking after a child of a friend, extended family member or acquaintance, full time for more than 28 days and they are not the parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister of that child, they may be a private foster carer. By law, all private fostering arrangements have to be registered with the local authority where the private foster carer lives, because local authorities have a duty to make sure that privately fostered children are safe and are being well cared for. It is important for Camden Council to know when such arrangements exist, so that it can help parents, carers and children, by giving them the right support and advice.

If you know of one of these arrangements or are unsure whether this might apply to you, please contact Camden on 020 7974 6783. Further information is available on

The following professional groups have a duty to inform Camden Council of any private fostering arrangements that come to their attention:

- Schools

- Education staff

- Education welfare workers

- Drug and alcohol workers

- Health professionals

- Housing officers

- Play service workers

- Probation

- Police

- Youth and Connexions

Staff members need to be mindful when registering or taking details of families. Any child applying for a place during the school year should be given scrutiny, especially if the child has recently joined the household. Please ask the person registering the child that their relationship is and if they are a private foster carer. Education and Health staff need to also check their databases to identify children that may be cared for by a private foster carer.

Maria, 41, is a private foster carer in Camden, and has been caring for her friend’s son for the last 5 months. His mother left him in her care last year, whilst she travelled to her country of origin for personal reasons. As a result of problems with her passport, she was unable to return to the UK, so Maria put herself forward to care for the young person, as she realised that there was a likelihood he could be placed with a different family. Maria says: “As a child, I had a really horrible experience living with my mother’s friend, when my mother left me with her. So I want to make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen to this child”.

“Since contacting Camden Council, I have received a great deal of support in terms of getting my friend’s son into the same school as my own child, after my initial application was rejected. Camden’s team also contributed towards purchasing a new school uniform. I’m grateful for all the support and useful advice Camden have given me in the last few months, as it’s made caring for my friend’s son much easier”.

If you know of one of these arrangements, please contact Camden on 020 7974 6783 or email  

Further information is available on


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