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A kinship carer is a relative, friend or other connected person who is looking after a child that cannot safely live with their parents. Sometimes kinship carers are known as family and friends carers.
There are different types of kinship care arrangement. The practical and financial support available to kinship carers and the children they raise varies. This is because what is available depends on what type of kinship care arrangement is in place. This means that it is very important that anyone who may become a kinship carer, gets independent legal advice.
If children’s services are involved in arranging for a child to live with a kinship carer, then:
- The child is likely to be a looked after child, and
- The type of kinship arrangement is likely to be kinship foster care.
If children’s services are not involved, then it is likely that the kinship care arrangement is a ‘private family arrangement’. In some cases, a kinship carer applies for a child arrangements order saying the child should with them. Or, they may apply for a special guardianship order.