NORTH Yorkshire County Council is urging Whitby residents to join a national campaign to help ensure the safety of children who are in private foster care.
Private fostering occurs when someone who is not a close relative assumes responsibility of a child, and there are fears that some of these ‘invisible’ children could be at risk of abuse, or victims of trafficking.
The call to action is part of a national campaign called Somebody Else’s Child, which is run by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering and runs from 21 to 27 March.
Judith Hay, assistant director for children’s social care at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Everybody has a role in keeping our children safe - whether you are a teacher, youth worker, neighbour or just chat to the other mums and dads at the school gate.
“If you hear about a child who is being privately fostered please let us know immediately so we can ensure the child is being kept safe.”
The parent and carer of a child who is being privately fostered are required by law to notify the local authority, but withan estimated 10,000 children in private foster care there are fears that many may slip through the net.
For more information on private fostering visit the www.northyorks.gov.uk.