Thinking of becoming a Private fostering parent?  

  • What is private fostering?

Private fostering is the term used to describe the situation where a child aged under 16 (or under 18 if disabled) is cared for, supplied with accommodation, by an adult who is not a relative (for example, a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle), for 28 days or more, by private arrangement between parent and carer.

Private Fostering is different from the care of children by local councils through approved foster carers. A privately fostered child is not looked after by the local council under the Children Act 1989, but local councils can provide further information about private fostering if required. Private fostering placements are normally arranged by a birth parent. Private foster carers do not hold parental responsibility.

Private fostering can involve children sent to the UK for education or health care by parents living overseas, children living with a friend’s family as a result of separation or divorce, teenagers living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend, or children whose parents’ lifestyle involves unsociable hours which makes it difficult for them to use ordinary day care or after school care.

Private Fostering

Overseas students

If you are looking after somebody else,s child for more than 28 days and the child is under 16, or 18 is disabled? and the arrangement was made privately this is PRIVATE FOSTERING

The process:


Firstly apply to EHUK on the PF1 form in our Library, we can then arrange an in depth visit to your family where we can go through all the necessary paperwork, this unfortunately is a process that can't be rushed and the carers have to be explained what's involved to ensure the process is correct. We must inform the Private Fostering Team of Devon County Council's children services once the child is in ours/your care.  We will liase with the PF Team, host & carers to ensure the child is well matched, safe and well cared for in the arrangement. 

We will: Make sure our carers are trustworthy, everyone in the household aged 16 and over have a valid DBS Enhanced certificate.

We will: Support both parents and carers to ensure that the child,s physical, emotional, educational and cultural needs are met

We will: Help parents and carers consider finance, consents and contact needs.

We will: Visit the child and carers regularly, providing advice and support where needed.

We will: Be a listening ear for the child, parents and carers for any concerns or difficulties that may araise.

EHUK will provide a suitable homestay family whom are willing to become private foster carers for Under 16 year old students, whom will be residing in the UK for more than 28 days.
EHUK are experienced in processing all the documents required for the procedure, and our staff will offer informed guidelines to the student, parents, agent, school/college and homestay family.

Our Templated documents for all the required processes will be found in our Library. If you can't find one please ask.

Compliance of Private Fostering

Birth Parents/EHUK must:

  • advise the local private fostering team for the arrangement at least six weeks in advance or, where an arrangement is made in an emergency, within 48 hours, and at the end of such an arrangement
  • retain parental responsibility and participate in all decisions about their child
  • provide the prospective carer, host family with as much information about the child as possible, including their health, dietary preferences, school, hobbies, religion and ethnicity
  • accept responsibility for ensuring that the proposed private fostering placement is suitable for their child

Private foster carers or EHUK must:

  • advise their local PFT of the intention of a foster carer becoming to foster a child at least 6 weeks beforehand or, where a child is received in an emergency, no more than 48 hours afterwards
  • notify their local PFT within 48 hours when a child leaves their care, giving the name and address of the person into whose care the child has been moved

The local Private Fostering Team must:

  • check the suitability of a private foster carer
  • make regular visits to the child and monitor the overall standard of care provided
  • ensure that advice to carers & host family is made available when needed

NOTES: Local PFTeams are not always notified about Private Fostering arrangements, despite this being an offence under the Children Act 1989.
When they are notified, it is often after the fostering has started. This is a problem as Privately Fostered children are a particularly a vulnerable group and need the safeguards provided through the Children Act and associated regulations.

It is also EHUK responsibility as an agent to notify all concerned on first acknowledgement of a child coming into the Uk under our care.

Rules governing private fostering


Privately fostered children are safeguarded by the Children Act 1989 (Part IX) and associated regulations.


What the difference of Private Fostering or fostering?

Private Fostering has consent for the child to be placed PRIVATELY, but Fostering is often only a temporary solution to provide children with a safe home while other arrangements are being made. Although some young people are fostered until adulthood.  Foster carer's look after the child on behalf of the local authority who work closely with the child's birth parents wherever possible.



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