For children whose parents are unable to look after them for short or long periods of time, kinship care (also called connected persons or family and friends care) provides a child with stability and the chance to stay with people they already know.
Sometimes, it is necessary for us to formalise the arrangement through a legal order, such as a special guardianship or by approving a kinship carer as a long-term or temporary-connected person's foster carer, depending on the child's needs. Every family's situation is different.
Assessment of a kinship carer
As soon as a child is placed with a kinship carer, such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle or a close family friend, we have a legal requirement to seek to approve the adult(s) as a temporary foster carer.
One of our social workers will carry out an assessment to ensure the kinship carer:
- has an existing relationship with the child
- can provide a suitable bed and bedroom for the child
- is available to care for the child and meet all their needs
The assessment process can last up to 12 weeks. It includes meetings with the social worker during the working day, home visits, checks on all members of the household and requires the views of 3 referees.
The social worker will discuss with you whether there is sufficient evidence to recommend you for approval as a temporary connected persons foster carer and the recommendation will be presented to a Hillingdon panel to review.
Note: From the date the child is placed with you, you will receive a fostering allowance to look after the child in your care. You will need to have a bank account so that weekly payments can be made to you.
Temporary connected persons foster carers
If you are approved as a temporary connected persons foster carer, your name will be added to the fostering register.
You will also need to sign a temporary foster carer agreement, which sets out the agreement between you and the council about the care that you will provide for the child, and the supervision and support that we will offer you as a temporary foster carer. It is important that you read the agreement carefully.
Approval as a temporary connected persons foster carer lasts for up to 16 weeks, during which time a more in-depth assessment will be undertaken with you.
You, members of your household and regular visitors who are aged 18 years old and over will need to give permission for a number of checks to be made, including DBS check (disclosure and barring service - police check).
The social worker's assessment will determine whether the temporary connected persons foster carer(s) should be approved as a family and friends foster carer or recommended as a special guardian for the child(ren).
Support for kinship carers in Hillingdon
We provide kinship carers with support and training to help them in their caring role, which can be challenging for all the family.
If you are an existing kinship carer in Hillingdon and feel you need support, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org