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.