South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has backed a group of carers after paying them a special visit.
Mrs Lewell-Buck, who is shadow minister for children and families, attended a support group made up of kinship carers.
We hope to continue to work with Emma to improve support for kinship carers in South Shields and nationallyLucy Peake
Kinship carers are family members who take on care of children when their parents are unable to.
About one in 70 children in the North East are raised by kinship carers, which is the highest proportion in the country.
The carers do not have access to local authority support, and they often have to bring up children in what are difficult family circumstances.
The kinship carers visited by Mrs Lewell-Buck are taking part in the project Relative Experience, which is aiming to improve their lives.
The project is being delivered by the charity Grandparents Plus, in partnership with Family Lives.
Lucy Peake, CEO of Grandparents Plus, said: “The meeting was a great opportunity for local carers to share their experiences with Emma.
“It was an emotional meeting as lots of kinship carers are dealing with difficult family situations and raising children with very little financial and practical support.
“They say that the support group, and meeting others in their situation, has been the thing that has kept them going.
“We hope to continue to work with Emma to improve support for kinship carers in South Shields and nationally.
“If you are a raising a relative’s child and need support and information contact the Relative Experience team on 0191 257 2504.”