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Private fostering

Do you look after a child that is not yours or do you know a child who is being looked after by someone who is not their guardian or parent? 

This is known as private fostering. If you know of a child who is in a private fostering arrangement you have a legal responsibility to let us know. 

Private fostering is defined as "When a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they have a disability) is looked after by someone who is not a parent, close relative, guardian or person with parental responsibility for 28 days or more without the involvement of Gateshead Council."

Close relatives are:

  • brothers and sisters
  • aunts and uncles
  • grandparents
  • step-parents

An arrangement is likely to be private fostering if the child lives with:

  • cousin
  • friend
  • neighbour
  • host family
  • great aunt/uncle
  • great grandparent
  • divorced step-parent
  • an independent boarding school (if the child remains for more than two weeks during the holidays)
  • cultural use of aunt or uncle who are no blood relation

Visit Safeguarding in Gateshead for further information about private fostering arrangements.

Contact us

You must refer the case to Childrens Social Care, Referral and Assessment Team 

0191 433 2653