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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.
 

Objectives

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 Kinship Assessment process should help Kinship Carers to feel more involved, 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 a network of support around them and different members of the family can contribute to the support and care of the child and, of course, the carers.
 

Assessment of kinship carers

A Social Worker will be allocated to complete a Kinship 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 the Kinship Assessment being completed and approved at a Kinship Screening Group, 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 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 Kinship Carers and the wider family network, in particular to meet the needs of the child to grow into a happy, healthy, 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
  • Kinship Carers where a Kinship Care Order or Guardianship is in place, and child previously 'looked after', or placed with involvement of local authority (Scottish Government guidance), or child at risk of becoming looked after.

A child is 'looked after' if they are subject to a:

  • Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Section 25 Agreement
  • Child Protection Order (CPO)
  • Interim Compulsory Supervision Order (ICSO)
  • Compulsory Supervision Order (CSO)
  • Permanence Order (PO)

The safety and needs of the child in any assessment of family or friends as carers must be paramount. Kinship Carers play a vital role in helping a child to recover from trauma and it is recognised that they may face challenges in this role. Independent information and advice, as well as practical and financial support are available to help and assist Kinship Carers.

The rights and responsibilities of Kinship Carers can be complicated. Gaining information and advice is important so you can learn about your options and understand if you are receiving the practical and financial support to which you are entitled. There may be an impact on your benefit entitlement.

Both the Locality and Kinship Teams provide support to Kinship Carers. As well as contacting the relevant Locality Team or the Kinship Team (details below), you can access independent information, advice, and support from:

 

Kinship allowances

 
Age rangeWeekly kinship allowance
0 to 4 years£168.31
5 to 10 years£195.81              
11 to 15 years£201.00
16 to 18 years£268.41              

* The allowance paid is minus specific child-related benefits i.e. Child Benefit and the Child Element of Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit or Pension Credit, dependent on the Kinship Carer's eligibility.

 

Kinship Team

Whitletts Area Centre
181 Whitletts Road
Ayr
KA8 0JQ

Telephone: 01292 267 675

Email: FPTA@south-ayrshire.gov.uk