Kinship carers

As you rightly point out, family and friends play a vital role in caring for children who are unable to live with their parents. Quite understandably, most children benefit from living with someone they already know and trust, rather than a stranger.

Statutory guidance for local authorities on supporting kinship carers has been issued. This makes it clear that children and young people should receive the support that they and their carers need to safeguard and promote their welfare. It explains that support, including financial support, can be provided under the Children Act 1989. I understand that there is no limit to the level of financial support that local authorities can provide. Local authorities should also have clear eligibility criteria in place in relation to the support services they provide.

Local authorities are also required by central government to publish a policy setting out their approach to promoting and supporting the needs of all children living with kinship carers. I am aware that the Department for Education has written to local authorities to remind them of this requirement and that the policy should be clear, updated regularly, and made freely and widely available. I would encourage you to contact our local authority for more information about the policy in our area. If you are unhappy with the response , do let me know as I will happily follow up.

I hope this reassures you that the importance and value of kinship carers in the care system is recognised. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for working tirelessly for those you care for.