Students & Guests

UKguests provide safe, quality homestay accommodation with our British hosts.

Students & Visitors

Care for under-16s and private fostering

UKguests provides homestay for children under 16 for short and long term stays.

Where a child aged under 16 (or under 18 if disabled) is cared for and provided with accommodation by an adult who is not a relative (for example, a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle), for 28 days or more, by private arrangement between parent and carer, this is considered private fostering.

Private fostering is different from the care of children by local councils through approved foster carers. A privately fostered child is not looked after by the local council under the Children Act 1989, however local councils can provide further information about private fostering. A private foster placement is normally arranged by a childs parent. Private foster carers do not hold parental responsibility.

Private fostering can involve children sent to the UK for education or health care by parents living overseas, children living with a friend's family as a result of separation or divorce, teenagers living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend, or children whose parents' lifestyle involves unsociable hours which make it difficult for them to use ordinary day care or after school care.

Rules governing private fostering

Privately fostered children are safeguarded by the Children Act 1989 (Part IX) and associated regulations.

Private foster carers must

  • Advise their local council of their intention to foster a child at least six weeks beforehand or, where a child is received in an emergency, no more than 48 hours afterwards
  • Notify their local council within 48 hours when a child leaves their care, giving the name and address of the person into whose care the child has been moved

Birth parent's must

  • Advise the local council of the private fostering arrangement at least six weeks in advance or, where an arrangement is made in an emergency, no more than 48 hours afterwards
  • Retain parental responsibility and partake in all decisions about their child
  • Provide the prospective carer with as much information about the child as possible, including their health, dietary preferences, school, hobbies, religion and ethnicity
  • Accept responsibility for ensuring that the proposed private fostering placement is suitable for their child

The local council will:

  • Check the suitability of private foster carers
  • Make regular visits to the child and monitor the overall standard of care provided
  • Ensure that advice to carers is made available when needed

Local councils are not always notified about private fostering arrangements, despite this being an offence under the Children Act 1989. When they are notified, it is often after the fostering has started. This is a problem as privately fostered children are a particularly vulnerable group and need the safeguards provided through the Children Act and associated regulations.

UKguests - private fostering process

In relation to private fostering arrangements and provision of accommodation with homestay hosts, UKguests would only be involved in arranging private fostering if the placement is due to continue for more than 27 days.

For further information on private fostering, please contact us.


I think that it is a good idea that international students live in a British family when they come to England. In this way, students can learn English more easily and practise it all the time.