Kinship Care

Many grandparents, relatives and friends are asked by social services to care for a child rather than be placed with foster carers. Many such children have been physically or emotionally abused.

Many relatives and friends agree to care for a child at a moment’s notice. But such decisions are often life-changing.

  • Many carers do not realise that both they and the children have legal rights,
  • Too often local authorities will claim they have no legal responsibility – or will press carers to apply for a residence order.
  • Grandparents fear that others may think that they are “in it for the money”.

Kinship carers need to be realistic about what they have taken on. Children cost money and, in an age where local authorities are increasingly reliant on agency foster carers, a family placement will cost a lot less.

The local authority owes a number of duties towards these children.

Ridley & Hall are at the forefront of defending kinship carers with the case of R on the application of X v London Borough of Tower Hamlets [2013] which found that kinship foster carers should be entitled to the same benefits as an unrelated foster carers. The benefits include fees, allowances and access to training.

Ridley & Hall’s commitment to human rights and our cutting edge legal work means that we can provide advice on the responsibilities of local authorities and we know how to hold them to account for their actions.

We are experienced in judicial review proceedings. As a result of actions taken on behalf of kinship carers over £350000 has been paid to kinship foster carers in back pay for carers entitled to the appropriate fostering allowance. We have brought about  fundamental changes in the kinship fostering policies of some local authorities.

The Kinship Care team has a national reputation for working with friends and family carers. We work closely with the Family Rights Group, the Grandparents Association, and a number of national and local Fostering support organisations.

If you are a kinship foster carer and require further advice please contact Nigel Priestley.

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What our clients say:

  • I feel so lonely. My one salvation is a Facebook page that I managed to find and it was through this that I found out about Ridley & Hall and am so thankful I have – prior to this I felt I was the only person going through what I am.

  • This guy is amazing he’s helped me so much and I actually think he’s not in his job for the money. He does what he believes in and that’s the difference between him and most solicitors. I’ve had several phone calls with Nigel also a huge amount of emails and even a court appearance from 1 of his colleagues when we thought things was going wrong with our last SGO and I’ve never paid a penny for his help just about to start legal correspondence to LA and I can honestly say he’s not charging the earth. Keep doing what you do best Nigel you change people’s lives.

  • Thank goodness for people like you

    Comment from Kinship Carers Support Group UK
  • “Being at the ‘sharp end’ Nigel you are more aware than most that we are the cinderella service… Thanks for your concern…” | “Thanks Nigel for being in our corner.” | “Thank you for all your help and support.” | “Thanks for all your help” | “Thank you for supporting us x” | “Thank you for always putting our case forward so eloquently, Nigel. xx”

    Comments from Kinship “Foster” Carers Group
  • All SGO’s are so lucky to have you in their corner. We knew how privileged we were to have you in ours. More power to your elbow Nigel keep up the good work x

  • A huge thank you to Nigel for making what could have been a god awful day not so awful. He was amazing. Nigel clearly knew exactly what he was doing and we have complete faith in his abilities and we both feel as if we can move forward a bit now, Thank you again

  • Thank you so much for being on our side. It’s been a very stressful process. Why it has to be so hard to do what is best for these children is beyond me. I could not have got through without your help.

  • When this process started we both felt so alone and scared, not knowing what was going to happen or what to do about it. When I found Nigel’s details and read through the website, I was reassured you would be able to help us before I even contacted you. We contacted you upon receipt of the care order papers and were immediately reassured. You were both so understanding and non-judgemental. Up until that point we had always blamed ourselves for the breakdown but you helped us see that it wasn’t our fault and fought for us against the local authority. We will be forever grateful to you for standing by us and fighting so hard for us. Its given us both a real sense of ‘closure’ and we feel able to begin our lives once again.

  • Nigel Priestley is my solicitor too. I have just had my special guardianship order granted on Wednesday. If he thinks something is wrong he will query it and, most importantly of all, he makes his clients feel valued. He and his colleagues have been brilliant throughout the last 6 months for me and as I have said he listens to you…… he doesn’t seem to be led by social services so please contact him. xx

    Contributor on the KinKids Facebook page
  • I think your solicitor needs changing. I see it all the time on [Facebook}. They use family law solicitors who don’t have the full grasp of kinship and these solicitors end up agreeing a compromise with the social worker whereas Nigel Priestley goes in both guns blazing for whats best for the kids x

    Contributor to Kinkids support group on Facebook