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Private Fostering

Private Fostering is when a child under 16 (or 18 if they have a disability) is cared for by someone, who is not a close relative, for 28 days or more. It is private fostering if the child lives with someone from their extended family such as a great aunt or great uncle or their parents’ cousins.

A private foster carer may be a friend of the family or of the child, or another adult that the child doesn’t know, but who is willing to foster privately. It is not private fostering when a child is living with a close relative such as a grandparent, brother, sister or step parent.

If any of these private fostering arrangements apply to you or someone you know then please contact:

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s First Contact Team on 01702 215007 or email c&

In an emergency
call 999

To report a non-urgent incident or crime to the Police
call 101

If you have concerns about a child, call Southend's Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub Plus ‘MASH+’ on 01702 215007
Select Option 1 and then either: Option 1 for professional advice; Option 2 for a specific social worker; OR Option 3 for MASH+ administration.

If you have concerns about an adult, call Southend's Access Team
01702 215008 option 1

To report concerns outside of office hours, call Emergency Duty Team on
0845 606 1212