New legal requirement for private fostering

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Portsmouth City Council is reminding residents and educational and health professionals of their responsibilities around private fostering.

Private fostering differs from fostering through the city council or independent agencies as it is a private arrangement made between the carer, parent and/or young person.

It occurs when a child under 16, or under 18 if they are disabled, lives with, or intends to live with, an adult who is not a close relative for 28 days or more.

It is now a legal requirement for the parent of a child who is being looked after by someone else, or for the person looking after someone else’s child, to let the council know six weeks before the arrangement begins, or within 48 hours of an emergency arrangement starting.

Education and health professionals are often the first people to become aware of these arrangements and they should contact Portsmouth City Council’s private fostering team on (023) 9268 8793 or email