What is private fostering?

Private fostering occurs when a parent makes arrangements for their child to be cared for by someone other than themselves for more than 28 days. This includes extended family, for example a cousin, a great aunt or great uncle, a great grandparent; or a family friend.


It does not include close blood relatives: a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether full blood or half blood or by marriage or civil partnership) or a step-parent.


A child is considered to be anyone under the age of 16, or a disabled young person under 18.



The law now states that you are required to inform Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s Children’s Services of the agreement if:

  • You as a parent are planning for your child to be cared for by someone else (who is not a close blood relative or someone connected through marriage) for more than 28 days.

  • You as a carer are looking after, or are intending to look after, someone else’s child for more than 28 days.


This is so that Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s Children’s Services can assist you in ensuring that the child remains safe. It is an offence not to inform the Council of a private fostering arrangement.



Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has a duty of care and to ensure everyone involved with the arrangement is getting the right advice, guidance and support they need.


You must inform us six weeks before the arrangement is due to commence. If the child comes to live with you in an emergency, you must notify us within 48 hours.



Learn more about fostering in Rotherham

If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.