Somerset Children At Risk

Leaving your children with anyone but a close relative (grandparent, sibling, aunt or uncle) is classed as "private fostering".

Parents are legally required to let Somerset County Council know if their child's being looked after regularly by anyone outside close family. This includes friends, neighbours or distant relatives. They want to make sure the children are safe in the care of the person as they could be at risk of violence, abuse or in extreme cases child trafficking.

The council have told Heart only 8 cases of private fostering were reported to them last year but they suspect many more arrangements like these are taking place all over the country.

If you know of a child who's being privately fostered, you can report it through the website above.