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Kinship Assessment Guide

Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A Good Practice Guide

Developed by Family Rights Group in partnership with an expert working group. February 2017

The Guide was instigated by Bridget Lindley, Family Rights Group’s Deputy Chief Executive and Principal Legal Adviser (until her death in March 2016) and drawn up by an expert working group.

The Guide is endorsed by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Family Justice Council, Cafcass, Catch 22, CoramBaaf, Coram Chambers, Coram Children’s Legal Centre, Association of Lawyers for Children, Family Action, Family Rights Group, Grandparents Plus, Kinship Carers UK, Kinship Care Alliance, London Borough of Islington, Principal Social Work Network, The Fostering Network and The Kinship ‘Foster Carers’ Group.

Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A Good Practice Guide

The Guide sets out best practice as to how an initial family and friends care (also known as kinship care) assessment should be conducted by local authorities to decide whether a family member of friend might be a potentially realistic option raise a child who cannot live safely with their parent(s). Initial family and friends care assessments are also known as viability assessments.

The Guide describes what factors social workers conducting the assessment need to consider, including when undertaking assessments with family members overseas. It is also a helpful resource for family members who may be assessed to become kinship carers. The guide includes research evidence, a schedule and example template, and an information sheet for a family and friends carers.


Delivering good practice initial assessments of family and friends carers in the context of Covid-19

An Appendix to the guide: Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment : A good practice guide.

The initial assessment guide is as relevant today as it was when it was first drafted in 2017. However, the public health measures in force resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic make aspects of the delivery of the guidance challenging. This appendix to the guide has been drafted by Coram Baaf and Family Rights Group with support from an expert advisory group. It sets out some possible ways to respond to those challenges.


In this short film, Steve Walker (Director of Strengthening Families, Protecting Children and Leeds Relational Practice Centre Services, Leeds City Council) co-author of the Guide describes the importance of local authorities undertaking effective initial assessments with potential kinship carers

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