Kinship Care

Kinship care refers to a type of care arrangement where a child lives with a family member or friend full time. This usually happens because their parents are unable to care for them and it is in the best interests of the child or young person to be placed with a member of their extended family or friend network. This arrangement can be initiated by a local authority or privately by the family. 

Type of Kinship Care

The types of kinship care that the local authority can be involved in are:

Child Arrangement Orders

This is an order whereby an agreement is made about where a child lives and who they can have contact with. They used to be referred to as ‘contact orders’ and ‘residence orders’. The order will be decided based on the family’s situation and the best interests for the child.

Special Guardianship Orders

Special Guardianship Orders (SGOs) place a child or young person with someone other than their parent(s) on a long-term basis. The person(s) with whom a child is placed will then become the child’s special guardian and will obtain enhanced parental responsibility for the child. The order will be decided by the family court.

Friends and Family Fostering

If a child or children are ‘looked after’ by the council, they can be placed with a relative, friend or connected person in a fostering arrangement. The relative or friend will have to have been approved (or temporarily approved) as foster carers.


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