Kinship Carers

Are you thinking about or are you currently caring full time for a close relative or friend’s child?

Are you confused, worried, scared, and unsure about what is happening?

Do you understand the process that you are about to or are currently going through?

Do you know that there is support out there for you and the child you care for?

You are not alone…
Thousands of people care for children because their birth parents are unable to do so. These people are grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and even close family friends. Are you one of these?

You may have chosen to become a carer already or you are in the process of becoming one but your main priority is the best interests of the child/ren. This can sometimes blind you to the roles, responsibilities and pressures that you will have as a carer.

Alternatively a child who is a close relative may be looked after by a foster carer or is placed in a residential home and you wish to take over the care of that child. What do you do?

There is much confusion around the area of kinship care with many Local Authorities dealing with carers differently. There are differences in financial payments, assessment processes and support packages which in turn leaves kinship carers very confused.

There are a number of different types of kinship care, which are explained in Mentor’s Kinship Care Guide. The Scottish Government defines the different legal statuses as follows:

Kinship care is when a child is looked after by their extended family or close friends, if they cannot remain with their birth parents. Under the Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009, kinship carers are defined as “a person who is related to the child (through blood, marriage or civil partnership) or a person with whom the child has a pre-existing relationship”.