Bucks County Council is urging people to help ensure children who appear to be involved in private fostering are properly cared for.

Private fostering is where someone who is not a close relative cares for another person's child for an extended period of time. Legally, the parent and carer must notify the local authority but this does not always happen and there are fears that some of these 'invisible' children could be at risk of abuse, or victims of trafficking.

The council is particularly asking people who work with children to be aware of private fostering and inform it immediately if they suspect such an arrangement. The general public does also have a part to play.

Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, 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 on 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."

For more information on private fostering visit the Council's website at www.buckscc.gov.uk/privatefostering .