Tracking pixel

Private Fostering and protecting children

Private Fostering is an informal arrangement where a child or young person under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) goes to live with someone who is not a family member/close relative for a period of 28 consecutive days or more. A close relative is defined as a grandparent, uncle, aunt, step-parent or older sibling.

The local authority must be notified so they can assess and support them to ensure it is a safe place for the child.

Children living in these arrangements are particularly vulnerable and could be at risk of harm. In 2000 Victoria Climbie died aged 8 at the hands of a distant relative following a period of sustained abuse and neglect. This was an unreported private fostering arrangement.

Reporting private fostering

If you or someone you know is privately fostering a child, and you think the Local Authority is unaware, or you are unsure if a child is living in a private fostering arrangement and need further advice you should contact the local authority:

Liverpool City Council

Contact Careline 0151 233 3700, find out more on the LCC website. Find out more on the LCC website.

St Helens Borough Council

Contact the SBC MASH Team 01744 676767 or 01744 676789. Find out more on the SBC website.

Warrington Borough Council

Email with basic details about the arrangement or call 01925 443400. Find out more on the WBC website.

Knowsley Council

Contact them on 0151 443 2600, find out more on the KC website.

To find your council visit: