Family and friends who care for children

Relatives and close friends play an important part in children’s lives. They become even more important when parents are not able to care for their child.

Sometimes children live with wider family or friends who become their main carers. Family and friends carers include grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters or family friends. These are usually private arrangements within the family. It avoids the child going into care and the parents keep parental responsibility.

When to tell us about caring for a child

  • If the arrangement does not involve the Council, the carers get financial support from the parents or from tax relief or the benefits system.
  • If it is not a close relative, it is private fostering. You must tell the Council.

Sometimes the local authority is involved because a child is not safe in the care of the parents. The child needs to be cared for by someone else while the parents get help. This may become a permanent arrangement if the parents cannot improve their care.

Please also see:

For more information, you can also visit The Kinship Care Charity.

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