Parents choosing private foster carers to look after their children have no way of identifying an approved carer. Official research has highlighted problems with private fostering arrangements, which are used to allow parents to work irregular hours or resolve conflict within families. Unlike childminders, private foster carers do not need to be registered with a professional body or approved by the local authority. Many have limited understanding of their charges' ethnicity or circumstances. And a lack of documentation can lead to disagreements over expectations and finances.