Welcome to the new Family Connect website

Family Connect is a free, confidential service providing, impartial advice, information, guidance and support on a full range of children's services available across the borough including childcare, activities, school admissions and finance.

Family Connect aims to ensure that families are getting the right help at the right time.

Private fostering / looked after children

What is private fostering?

A picture of the private fostering logo which is a speech bubble with Do you know a child being looked after someone who is not a close relative?

Do you know a child being looked after by someone who is not a close relative?

If you do, this is known as private fostering. Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they have a disability) is looked after for 28 days or more by someone who is not a close relative, guardian or person with parental responsibility. Close relatives include:

  • parents and grandparents
  • aunts and uncles.

When is it not private fostering?

It is not private fostering if the arrangement has been made by Telford & Wrekin Council, or if the person looking after the child is an approved foster carer. Some of the most common reasons why private fostering takes place are:

  • a child’s parents are overseas
  • a child lives with their best friend’s parents because they have had an argument with their own parents
  • a young person is living with the family of their boyfriend/girlfriend
  • children are on a holiday exchange which last for more than 27 days 
  • a family friend takes on a child as the parents are experiencing a difficult period in their life.

There are lots of other reasons and if you are unsure if your situation is private fostering call 01952 385385 to discuss it.

Why do I have to inform someone?

If you are looking after someone else’s child, know someone who is, or your child is being cared for by someone else you must tell us. The law says that you must tell your Local Authority six weeks before the arrangement starts, or immediately if you haven’t already told them. This is to make sure that the child is:

  • safe and well looked after
  • receiving a proper education
  • being encouraged to reach their full potential
  • keeping in touch with people who are important to them
  • properly supported.

Private foster carers carry out an important role and we offer them support and guidance to be able to do this. We can only do this if we know about the arrangement. Many private fostering arrangements remain hidden leaving children vulnerable to abuse and neglect. 

Privately Fostered children are one of the largest groups of vulnerable children in the UK. Don’t let them be forgotten. 

Who do I have tell?

If you know a child is being privately fostered please contact Family Connect on 01952 385385 or email fostering@telford.gov.uk immediately.


Guide to private fostering

Useful websites