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Somebody Else's Child / Private Fostering


Is your child living with another family or are you looking after someone else's child?


If the answer is yes, then this could be a private fostering arrangement.  This page contains important information about your legal rights and responsibilities

What is Private Fostering?

Most children spend some time staying with friends and relatives. However, in some situations the arrangements can become more permanent.

If a child aged under 16 years* goes to live with an adult who is not related to them for 28 days or more, this is known as "private fostering", and special rules apply.

If you live in Tameside and are looking after a child and think you could be a private foster carer, or you are the parent of a child in this situation, you must inform Services for Children and Young People.

* Or under 18 years if they have a disability.

Why involve Services for Children and Young People?

The Children Act 1989 places a duty on the Local Authority to make sure that any child under 16 years* who is living for long periods with unrelated adults is:

  • well looked after;
  • healthy;
  • receiving a proper education;
  • living with someone who can keep alive their own identity and background;
  • kept in contact with people important to them;
  • given encouragement to develop and grow to their full potential;
  • properly supported when they move into independence.

What will Services for Children and Young People do?

A Social Worker will arrange to visit the child's parents, the private foster carers and the child themselves.

They will keep in touch at regular intervals with the private foster carers, the child's parents, and the child, to make sure everything is going well.

They will offer support and guidance to both the foster carers and parents, particularly in making plans for the child's future and helping the child to keep in touch with their culture and background.

The Social Worker will also offer advice on the welfare benefits the private foster carers may be entitled to.

Parents Rights and Responsibilities

When a child goes to live with private foster parents, the child's parents keep all legal rights and responsibilities. This means the parent should be:

  • involved in the planning of the child's future;
  • kept in touch with the child’s future;
  • involved in any decision made affecting their child;
  • able to have their child home with them at any time if they wish;
  • expected to financially support their child.

How can you help us to improve services?

We need your help to continually improve our services. We will ask for your views in various ways. This may be through questionnaires and completing reviews.

Want to make a referral or wish to know more?

If you want to know more about private fostering or you think you may be acting or intend to act as a private foster parent, please contact:

Telephone Number Tameside Public Service HUB
0161 342 4101

Postal Address Tameside Public Service HUB, Denton Centre, Acre Street, Denton M34 2BW.

Compliments, suggestions and complaints

If you would like to make a compliment, suggestion or complaint about our services please contact the Complaints Manager:

Telephone NumberTel: 0161 342 5233
Postal AddressEmail:

Somebody Else's Child Leaflet (Private Fostering) PDF