Many people look after other people’s children for a night or a weekend, but if a child under 16 is living with you for more than 28 days, you are privately fostering.

We offer support and advice to people who are privately fostering and to parents whose children are living with someone else. We can help with practical things and emotional support and we can help to rebuild relationships between children and their parents.

Children and young people become privately fostered for a variety of reasons:

  • their parents live overseas and they come to this country to attend school;
  • their parents are ill and cannot look after them;
  • their parents work away from home, possibly abroad;
  • they are teenagers who are estranged from their families.

If you think you might be privately fostering or your child is being privately fostered or you know someone who is, please let us know by:


Phoning 0300 123 2224

Or by filling in one of the notification forms and returning it to us at Customer Contact, PO Box 618, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3WF.

Once we are notified, we will speak to the private foster carer, parent, child and school, to make sure the child is safe and their needs are being met. Plus we will offer all people involved support and advice and mediate meetings with the child and their parent if necessary.

More information for parents, private foster carers, professionals and language schools can be found in the downloadable leaflets on this page – click the links below.

You can find the latest press release about private fostering in Somerset here.

Notification form - Carers

If you are a caring for someone elses child for more than 28 days you are Privately Fostering and you need to fill in this form and return it to us. Download