Types of Kinship Care Assistance

Advice and Information

Where a person is considering applying for or is applying for a Kinship Care Order they must be provided with appropriate information and advice which will enable them to make a decision on obtaining a Kinship Care Order. This should include:

  • What is a Kinship Care Order
  • Benefits and limitations of a Kinship Care Order
  • How to find and instruct a solicitor
  • How to apply for legal aid
  • How to apply to the Local Authority for financial support to pay toward the costs of an order
  • What happens at a hearing at the Sheriff Court
  • How the child’s, parents’ and kinship carer’s views are considered by the court
  • What happens when a Kinship Care Order is granted
  • What may happen if it is not granted
  • Complaint procedures
  • Details of local and national advice and support networks.

Going to Court can be an emotional and challenging time for the family. Some kinship carers may face divided loyalties in taking court action for parental responsibilities and rights from parents particularly when they may be their own children or younger siblings. You need to speak to someone to discuss the full implications of this decision. You can speak to your social worker or alternatively look at Section 5 to find a list of national and local support networks.

Financial Allowances

Kinship care arrangements can cause significant financial impact on a family. Financial circumstances change due to caring responsibilities, employability may be affected and so may the long term stability of the placement.

Child benefit and child tax credits are intended to cover the cost of accommodation and maintenance of a child however we advise kinship carers to do a benefits check to ensure that they are fully aware of all benefits that they may entitled to. Additional costs do arise in caring for a child such as travel costs related to family contact and a financial allowance is intended to help with these costs.

Kinship care assistance can then include a financial allowance for:

  • Someone who has obtained a Kinship Care Order for an eligible child
  • An appointed guardian of an eligible child
  • A child who is now 16 and had a Kinship Care Order immediately before turning 16 and/or
  • An eligible child
  • An eligible child who has an appointed guardian.