Kinship care means that relatives or friends look after children who cannot live with their parents.
Kinship care may include people who are not related to the child but who are still in the child’s social network. For example, someone the child knows well and trusts; a good neighbour, a parent of a school friend, or a close family friend. Sometimes this type of care is called family and friends care because this more accurately describes what it is, and kinship foster carers are sometimes called connected persons.
Kinship care can be a private arrangement or formalised through a legal order.
Kinship care and Special Guardianship can offer a child:
A form of stability without legally separating the child from their parents
The chance to build a firm foundation for a lifelong permanent relationship
The opportunity to remain within their extended family network.
Special Guardianship means that the child lives with carers who have parental responsibility for them until they are grown up. The child is no longer the responsibility of the local authority. The order usually lasts until the child is 18.
You must be over 18 years and have an existing or possible relationship with the child. You could be;
Also you don’t have to be a blood relative. You can be:
1. Foster carers who have been approved by local authorities or an independent foster carer who is not connected to the child
2. Family and friends carers who have been approved as foster carers by their local authorities
3. Family and friends carers who are temporarily approved
4. Family and friends who are not caring for a child who is placed with the local authorities or independent foster care providers
5. Lastly, unknown applicants
These eligibility requirements are formed in order to guarantee a large group of people with existing ties to the child can apply.
If you have a bond with the child, you can do the following:
Information about the child needs to be presented to the courts:
The court will need to understand the child’s whole story including their family composition, social, educational, development and finally, the child’s own feelings. The court will look into the child’s history to make an informed decision. The court also assesses the prospective guardian’s support needs in relation to the child.
If you would like more information or if you would like a member of our Fostering Team to contact you to discuss matters, please complete our Foster Carers Application of interest form.