Kinship Care Assistance

The Kinship Care Assistance (Scotland) Order 2016

You have now obtained parental responsibilities and rights for a child.

A Local Authority must provide kinship care assistance so as to safeguard, support and promote the wellbeing of that child. The assistance is available to both the adult and child.

As the child was previously “looked after” by a Local Authority you are still entitled to support, guidance and a Kinship Care Allowance.
  • This support will come from the Local Authority that “looked after” the child (this may be different from the Local Authority where you are living)
  • This support should be transferred to the Local Authority that is responsible for the area in which you live (please check with your local authority)
  • You should work with the Local Authority to set out their role and responsibilities in caring for the child. This can be challenging if it involves a child moving from England to Scotland as the range of practice and terminology can be very confusing

 

Types of Kinship Care Assistance

Advice and Information –
Where you have obtained a Kinship Care Order kinship carers may require information and advice on a wide range of matters related to caring for the children such as;

  • Knowledge of child development
  • Impact of abuse and neglect
  • Managing relationships with parents
  • Supporting children and young people who display emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • Support in how to talk to children about why they are cared for e.g. bereavement, mental health issues, substance misuse
  • Concerns about who cares for children in the future
  • Concern about their wider caring responsibilities

Third sector organisations and local support groups can provide a lot of information, support and advice around these issues. Please go to section 5 to find a list of national and local support networks.

A child, under the age of 16 and subject to a Kinship Care Order may also access kinship assistance through information and advice in order to assist them through the transition to having a Kinship Care Order. This type of assistance may be provided up to the age of 18 and includes such support as;

  • Understanding the reason why they are cared for by their kinship carer or guardian
  • Supporting contact with parents and siblings
  • The need to reduce stigma by having opportunities to meet other children being cared for
  • Access to befriending or mentoring opportunities
  • Additional support at school especially if they have experienced disrupted education
  • Knowledge of access to advocacy services

Some children who have experienced abuse or trauma may require access to therapeutic support services. This wellbeing need is unlikely to be met through general children services and so would require a targeted intervention and a Child’s Plan.

However the level of information and advice will vary from child to child. To assess this a Local Authority must look at the age, maturity and communication needs of the child. All children must have equal opportunities to access advice and information.