What is Kinship?

Are you raising someone else’s child? If so, you are a Kinship Carer

Kinship care is where a child or young person lives full-time with a relative or family friend because they are not able to live with their birth parents. Thousands of people care for children because their birth parents are unable to do so.

Kinship care is also known as ‘family and friends care’, ‘connected care’, ‘relative care’ or kincare and has always been with us.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins and close friends have always come forward to keep children in the family when there is a crisis or breakdown of relationships.  There are growing numbers of people who are becoming kinship carers – with an estimated 180,000 children in the care of relatives in the UK (University of Bristol Research, 2017).

The term kinship care covers a variety of situations:

  • Informal or private kinship arrangement between parents and relatives
  • Registered private foster care
  • Local authority foster care with family and friends (Family & Friends Foster Care)
  • Kinship Care with Residence Order, Special Guardianship Order, Adoption Order or Child Arrangements Order.
  • You can find more details about each of these on our Legal Advice & Option page


Source: The Kinship Care Guide for England 2014

Your Role as a Kinship Care can be Challenging!

Whatever your circumstances, you may be facing some challenges in your role as a kinship carer.  You may be:

  • coping with the massive impact that being a kinship carer can have on your family dynamics
  • being contacted by social workers from the local authority
  • trying to review your legal options around kinship care and obtaining legal rights and security through a legal order such as a Residence Order, Special Guardianship Order or kinship fostering
  • dealing with other people’s judgements as to whether you are able to properly care for your kin child
  • maybe struggling to budget and manage your money – together with maybe trying to work at the same time.
  • having the time and energy to build a caring relationship with your child
  • finding your way around the maze of information about kinship care on the internet

Contact us to find out more about how we can more about how we can advise and support you on 0151 270 2108.