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Kinship care

“Kinship care is unique, it is not foster care. At the same time it is more than family support.” Jane Aldgate, “Looking after the family” Report 2006.


All children need to be brought up in a loving and stable home where their needs for care, love and support can be met.

The assessment process should help kinship carers to feel more involved and consulted and able to identify the supports they believe they need to look after the child safely and in a way that promotes the child’s best interests.

In addition, the wider family should be included, where appropriate, in this process through Family Meetings, so that the child has that community of support round them and different members of the family can contribute to the support and care of the child and, of course, the carer.

Assessment of kinship carers

A Social Worker will be allocated to carry out an assessment. The Social Worker will explain to the carers the content of the work they will do together and be transparent about the areas they will discuss. The timescale for the work should also be discussed.

In the interim period, pending Kinship assessment being completed and approved, and whilst a child is placed with another family member or friend, financial support can be made from the Carers in Community Budget and the Child’s Social Worker will complete a funding form for this.

The assessment and approval of a kinship care arrangement is only the start of a journey for the child and for the kinship carers. Kinship carers will need consistent support and opportunities to develop new skills which will help them to meet the identified needs of the child as they grow up.

A range of supports need to be available to the wider family and kinship carers, in particular to meet the needs of the child to grow into a happy, healthy, learning, achieving, confident and responsible individual

Advice and guidance

All local authorities in Scotland have agreed with the Scottish Government to set up a scheme to make payments to kinship carers of ‘looked after’ children.

Definition of looked after children

  • A child on a supervision requirement made by a Children’s Hearing under section 70 of the 1995 Act
  • A child accommodated by the Local Authority under Section 25 of the 1995 Act
  • An order made, authorisation or warrant granted by virtue of Chapter 2, 3, or 4 of Part II of the 1995 Act
  • A placement made by a local authority which has taken parental responsibility under Section 86 of the 1995 Act or Permanence Order under section of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

The safety and needs of the child in any assessment of family or friends as carers must be paramount and it is recognised the importance and challenges of a kinship carer. Independent advice, support and practical financial support are available to help and assist kinship carers.

The rights and responsibilities of kinship carers can be complicated. Getting advice is important so you know about your options and know if you are getting the practical and financial support that you are entitled to as it may be that carers will lose other benefits by taking up Kinship payments

You can get advice from the Kinship Carers support line provided by Citizen’s Advice Scotland, who offer advice on a variety of matters. Children 1st also offer a new service for training and support to all kinship carers.

Family Placement and Adoption Team

Whitletts Area Centre
181 Whitletts Road

Tel: 01292 267675


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