You may be able to get support and financial help if someone else’s child is living with you full time. You must tell us if you’re a parent and you’ve asked someone who isn’t a close relative to look after your child.
You’re known as a Kinship carer if you’re a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister or family friend looking after a child who can’t be cared for by their birth parents.
You must be approved as a foster carer if the local council has officially asked you to look after a child.
For more information visit our Kinship Care page.
You’re a private foster carer if both the following apply:
- you’re looking after a child who’s under 16 (under 18 if they’re disabled) for more than 28 days in a row
- you’re not a close relative, ie grandparent, brother or sister, uncle or aunt or step-parent
You must tell your local council about this arrangement.
For more information visit our Private fostering page.
Getting parental responsibility for the child
If you want to care for a child long term, you can get parental responsibility for the child by applying for a residence order or special guardianship order. For more information visit our Getting parental responsibility page.
You may also be able to adopt the child.