Looking after someone else's child

If someone else's child is living in your home or if you know of a child living with someone else, that child could be privately fostered and you must let Barnet Council know.

Notify us of a possible private fostering arrangement

What is private fostering?

Private fostering is a private arrangement that is made between the parent and the person caring for the child.

A ‘privately fostered’ child is one aged under 16 (or under 18 years if they are disabled or from the Ukraine), who is cared for by an adult for more than 28 days who is not their:

  • parent
  • close relative, i.e. grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or step parent
  • legal guardian

Privately fostered children could include:

  • adolescents that have to live away from their family as a result of separation, divorce or disputes at home
  • children who are living with somebody else because their parents are studying or working during unsociable hours
  • children sent to this country for education or health care opportunities by birth parents living overseas
  • cultural exchange students
  • refugee children or teenagers living with the family of a girlfriend or boyfriend
  • any child whose parents have made a private arrangement for them to be looked after by someone else

Our involvement

We make sure that all privately fostered children are well cared for and safe by:

  • making compulsory police checks on the private foster carers and anyone aged over 18 living in that household
  • ensuring that the private foster carer receives the relevant support and advice required for looking after someone else’s child
  • ensuring the child’s educational, emotional, cultural and physical needs are met
  • helping parents and private foster carers to work together for the benefit of the child
  • taking action if the care provided is not satisfactory

We are not responsible for:

  • the day-to-day care of your child
  • any financial disputes between the parent and the private foster carer.