Am I privately fostered?

You are a privately fostered child if you are under 16 years old (or under 18 with a disability or from the Ukraine) and living with an adult who is not a close relative for more than 28 days.

Do any of these situations sound familiar?:

  • my parent(s) made an arrangement for me to live with a neighbour
  • my parent(s) agreed that I could live with a family friend 
  • I live with my great aunt in Barnet but my parents live abroad 
  • I live with adults from within my religious community during school term time and return to my parents during holidays
  • I fled my country and came to the UK to live with my cousin
  • I left home at 15 years old and have been living with a friend and their parents
  • my parents arranged for me to come to the UK to study and learn English so I now live with carers
  • I’m a cultural exchange student staying in the UK for 2 months and living with host carers 
  • I am 17 years old, have a disability and live with my boyfriend and his family  

If you are in one of the above situations, then you are in a private fostering arrangement.

What private fostering means

It means that the adult looking after you or your parent needs to let a social worker from Barnet Council's Children’s Service know where you are living.
You can ask the adult looking after you, your parent or someone else such as a teacher to let a social worker know you are a privately fostered child or young person.

It is important that you are being looked after properly whilst you are living away from your parent(s).  A social worker will be able to check that you are being looked after properly by visiting you at least once every six weeks.

How social workers help

Your social worker will listen to you and make sure that you are happy where you are living.  They can give the adult you live with and your parent(s) any help or advice they might want.

Contact us

If you think you might be a child or young person living in a privately fostered arrangement, please let us know.  

You can telephone 020 8359 4066 to speak to a social worker or send us an email with your name, address and telephone number to