Kinship Foster Care
What is Kinship Foster Care?
Kinship foster care, also called connected persons or family and friends care, means that children whose parents are unable to look after them on a short or long term basis are cared for by other relatives, like grandparents, uncles or siblings, or by other adults who have a connection to the child, such as neighbours or a close friend of the family.
In an emergency, family members may be able to look after a child for a limited time with temporary approval under Regulation 26 of the Fostering Regulations.
This is provided the Local Authority is satisfied that this arrangement is safe and suitable for the child. There is a different assessment for this which looks at whether the arrangements are suitable and safe in the immediate circumstances.
Becoming a Kinship foster carer
The Local Authority may become involved in making arrangements for a child(ren) to be looked after by someone within their extended family or support network.
Kinship foster carers must be assessed and approved foster carers, but they will be approved to look after a specific child or children.
To be approved as a kinship foster carer, you will need to go through an assessment process called a Connected Person’s Assessment.
This process usually takes around 12 weeks-16 weeks and will include the completion of number of forms, numerous visits to your home and checks with other people and organisations. This will include criminal record checks (DBS checks), Local Authority checks, references from other peoples, including education references, employment references and references from ex-partners and adult children.
The assessment process will allow us to get to know you and your family and to fully consider whether you will be able to meet all of the child/ren's short and long term needs, and will consider any learning or development needs you may have or support that might help you in your role as a kinship foster carer.
Frequently asked questions
What will you need to ask me about?
We'll need to ask you about your background and childhood, previous and current relationships/marriages, support networks, experience as a parent and your relationship with the child/ren's family.
You will also need to provide details of your income, and you will be asked to provide details so that we can seek references.
What will you want to see when you visit my home?
We will need to look at the accommodation you intend to provide for the child/ren to make sure that it is suitable.
We will carry out a health and safety check of your home, which will include an assessment of any pets.
Who else will you need to contact?
We'll need to get in touch with your children, your current partner and any significant ex-partners, personal references and possibly some other family members. We'll also need to contact your employer.
If you have children living with you, we'll need to contact their school, health visitor and / or any professional involved with them.
What other checks will you need to do?
Everyone in your household aged 18 and over will have to have an enhanced disclosure criminal record check called a DBS, which checks for criminal convictions.
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire and attend a fostering medical examination with your GP.
Will I get any financial support?
Kinship foster carers are eligible to receive a weekly allowance to cover the everyday and regular expenses associated with caring for a foster child such as food, clothing, transport, leisure activities and pocket money.
This allowance will depend on the type of arrangement which has resulted in the child being in your care. The exact amount also depends on the age of the child.
Your assessor will discuss individual arrangements for financial support with you in more detail during the assessment process.
What support will I receive?
Once you are approved as a kinship foster carer, you will be expected to complete at least 15 hours of learning and development each year. This applies to all approved foster carers and is aimed to equip you with knowledge and skills to help you in your role.
You will also have the opportunity to attend monthly support groups and meet other foster carers in similar positions.
You will have the support of a supervising worker from the Family Placement Team, who will visit you on a regular basis, at least monthly during the first year of your approval.
This worker is in addition to the child/ren's social worker, who will visit the child/ren regularly, as per the legislation. Both workers will be able to discuss the child/ren's support needs with you and any support you may need to help you and the child/ren.
Last Modified: 04/10/2021
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