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Kinship carers: Useful information

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There are an estimated 200,000 - 300,000 children living with relatives or friends (also known as 'kinship carers') because their parents cannot raise them.

The addition of children to a household can mean that bills grow, space reduces and workload increases. There is financial help available for kinship carers, but the amounts carers will receive does depend on how their relationship with the children is defined in law.

For The One Show, Anita Rani met carers who told her of their experiences of 'residence orders' (they determine with whom the child should live) - and that they believe the process of securing adequate funding for their children should be made easier.

 

"Get proper advice..."

 

Anita also met Nigel Priestley, a solicitor who represents kinship carers. He recommends that new carers should seek independent advice before finalising their care arrangement with the local authorities.

He said of residence orders:

"Kinship carers should, at the very least, be receiving in terms of payments the same as a foster carer. That's the theory. In practice, it doesn't always happen. Very often local authorities encourage carers to apply for a residence order which may be inappropriate. So get proper advice before you go down that route, because once you've gone down that route sadly there's not much going back."

 

More information - useful links

 

Family Rights Group.

Family Rights Group - factsheet.

The Fostering Network

British Association for Adoption and Fostering.

 

Are you a kinship carer? Share your experiences.

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