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It’s Private Fostering Awareness Week

Published: 04 October 2021


What is private fostering?

Monday 4 October marked the start of Private Fostering Awareness Week 2021, which runs from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 October. So, what is the definition of private fostering? A child is in a private fostering arrangement when they are staying with someone who is not a parent or close relative for 28 days or more.

Some examples of private fostering arrangements include:

  • A child sent to live in the UK for education or health reasons, being cared for by a host family
  • A young person who has gone to live with a partner's or friend's family
  • A child living with a carer because their parents' circumstances mean that they are unable to look after them.

Why do Surrey County Council need to know if I'm privately fostering?

This is so we can carry out some essential steps to make sure that the child or young person being looked after is safe, well cared for and happy as well as providing carers' with fostering support and guidance.

If you are a parent making private fostering arrangements or a carer about to enter into a private fostering agreement, please get in touch with our Children's services team before the arrangement begins.

To contact the team and for more information call 0300 470 9100 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or email

Where can I learn more about private fostering?

To learn more about private fostering, and the process for informing Surrey Children's Service about a private fostering arrangement, take a look at our Private Fostering Information booklet, which can be found on the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership website.

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