As part of Private Fostering Week, people across South Tyneside are being asked to notify their local authority if they are involved in a private fostering arrangement.
Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (or under 18 if disabled) is cared for by someone who is not their parent or close relative. Close relatives are defined as step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts.
During Private Fostering Week, which runs from 4 – 8 July, the Local Safeguarding Children Board is appealing to anyone involved in this type of arrangement to notify the Council.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “It is a legal requirement that anyone involved in a private fostering arrangement notifies the Council.
“By doing this, the local authority can check that the young people are being well cared for and we can also offer help and support to both the young person and their families and carers.”
Although the legal responsibility lies with the parent and carer to notify the Council, people who work with children are also encouraged to play their part.
Councillor Atkinson added: “Those who come into regular contact with children can help to identify these potentially vulnerable children and help by either speaking to the child’s carer, if appropriate, or by informing the Council.”
For more information about private fostering, contact South Tyneside Council’s children and families’ social care on (0191) 424 5010 between Monday and Friday, 8.30am – 5pm or (0191) 456 2093 outside of office hours.