Appeal for carers to get in touch

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NORTHUMBERLAND residents who have become involved in a privately arranged care situation for a child are being urged to contact the county council.

Adults who are looking after someone aged under 16 who is not of member of their family must let the authority know about it once this person has been staying at their house for four weeks.

But the plea is also to let them know that a range of support is available to those who are considered to be private foster carers.

To qualify, residents must be intending to look after a child under 16 (or 18 if disabled) who is not an immediate relative – so this does not include step-parents, grandparents, brother, sister, uncle or aunt – whether full blood or half blood by marriage.

Coun Lesley Rickerby, the council’s Executive Member for Children and Young People, said: “There are many situations where people, for a whole range of reasons and with the best of intentions, are doing someone else a favour and letting their child live with them.

“What they often do not realise is that where the child is staying for 28 days or more, they have a legal responsibility to inform the local authority.”

To report a private foster care arrangement, or for more information, telephone 01670 534450 or email familyplacement@northumberland.gov.uk