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Private Fostering - Identification table

The law states that the local authority must be informed about all private fostering situations. The parents, carer and ay professional who knows about the arrangement are legally required to inform the authority’s children’s service giving details about the arrangement. 

Definition of a close relative according to the Children Act:

Close relative - Child is not in a private fostering arrangement

Distant relative - Child is in a private fostering arrangement


Step sibling

Sibling (full blood, half blood)

Great aunt or uncle

Grandparent (full blood, half blood or by marriage)

Great grandparent

Aunt or uncle (full blood, half blood or by marriage)


Step parent (if parents married)

Step parent (if parents not married)

Another adult with parental responsibility for the child (or an SGO or RO*)

Step parent (if parents are now divorced)

A child placed for adoption under UK adoption legislation

Any other adult who has no legal order for the child (known or unknown to the child)

An adoptive parent where the adoption is not recognised in the UK

SGO = Special Guardianship Order

RO = Residence Order

Both these orders are granted by a court and result in the carer sharing parental responsibility with a parent

More information

For advice or information about private fostering arrangements, please contact the team between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Telephone: 020 8871 6622

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Wandsworth Town Hall
London SW18 2PT