Anyone in Staffordshire caring for other people's children are being urged to let the County Council know.
By law when someone, who is not a close relative, cares for another person’s child for 28 days or more they have to notify their local authority.
So-called 'private fostering' arrangements could be:
- children and young people living apart from their families;
- children sent to this country for education and health care by their parents;
- children whose parents work or study involves unsociable hours;
- children living with another family as a result of separation or divorce;
- teenagers living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend;
- children on holiday exchange.
Staffordshire County Council was made aware of 15 cases of private fostering in the region last year.
Bosses say they have to ensure the arrangement is in the best interests of the child, but they can also offer support to the carer.
Social workers will carry out a visit to assess the youngster's needs, and provide help and advice.
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “It is important that we know about arrangements where people are looking after someone else’s children so we can make sure they know about the specialist help and support that’s available.
“We all have a role to play in keeping children safe so I would encourage people to get in touch if they think that a child is being privately fostered.”
There is more information here.