Kinship care is when a child is formally 'looked after' in terms of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 by their extended family or close friends, if they cannot remain with their birth parents. Under the Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009, Kinship Carers are defined as 'a person who is related to the child (through blood, marriage or civil partnership)' or 'a person with whom the child has a pre-existing relationship'.
A 'looked after' child / young person is one who is subject to a supervision order under Section 83 of the Children Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 or a child/young person who was formally placed under Section 25, Children (Scotland) Act 1995 in the care of a kinship carer by Social Work Services.
Kinship care also includes non looked after children, who live in an informal kinship care arrangement. These children may be subject to a Section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 or may be living in a completely private arrangement with extended family, with no local authority involvement at all.
Where Social Work Service has been involved in placing a child with a Kinship Carer, a full assessment of both the carer and the child's needs will be undertaken and support required identified. Ongoing support will be provided form the child's allocated worker or from a third sector organisation. The level of support will depend on the assessed need.
Support via the Carers Act
Kinship carers were given rights to access support under the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 where they meet the definition of a carer, even if they are in receipt of kinship care allowance.
Under the Carers Act, a kinship carer would be eligible for support if:
The child who is in kinship care could meet the definition of a young carer if:
Support available for Kinship Carers
There are also a number or organisations who can provide support:
There are also extensive support services for kinship carers across Glasgow which is an area of continual growth. Kinship support groups have a strong presence in Glasgow and are well placed to provide emotional support to kinship carers and offer assistance with sign posting to local services. Many third sector organisations play a vital role in supporting kinship carers across the whole of Glasgow. We are currently working on a directory of kinship support which will we will make available.
Kinship allowances are available to ;
Kinship Carers will not always receive the payment however the calculation process applied is the same in all cases.
Kinship care Payments are made weekly and are determined by the age of the child. There are four age bands:
Kinship care Payments are based on the fostering allowances paid to Foster Carers.
Kinship Carers also qualify for Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit but Foster Carers do not. As such the Kinship Care Allowance is calculated by deducting the Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit entitlement from the corresponding Fostering Allowance.
Yes, You may appeal against any decision. This can be done by writing to: Assistant Chief Officer of Social Care Services, Commonwealth House, 32 Albion Street, Glasgow G1 1LH, within 28 days of the decision.
Kinship payments can stop when a number of things happen;
1. The placement with the carer ends and the child is no longer looked after
2. The young person leaves school and entitlement to child benefit comes to an end
3. The young person turns 16 years and enters employment
4. The young person enters into further education
Note that studying non advanced education similar to schooling at a college may allow the Kinship payment to continue.
An eligible young person, age 16, who was subject to a Section 11 Order immediately before they turned 16, can apply for an allowance to be paid to them which can be paid where the local authority deem it appropriate to do so.
No. The financial commitment relates to the provision of an allowance for a child equivalent to that of a child placed with a foster carer. Foster carers need to be recruited and retained, therefore the fee element safeguards this service along with acknowledging their experience and skill level.
A Kinship Care Order secures the kinship placement through a legal order, removes the child from the children's hearing system (if subject to supervision requirement) and reduces the need for statutory social work intervention as the child no longer has looked after and accommodated status.
One of the main advantages of obtaining a Kinship Care Order is achieving a more stable home environment for a child. Depending on the section of the 1995 Act that the order is made, it will set out conditions of residence for the child and may also transfer parental responsibilities and rights. This allows a Kinship Carer to make a range of decisions that any reasonable parent can take in relation to a child's life. If parental rights are transferred, a Kinship Carer can, for example, provide consent for the child to undertake medical procedures (if they are too young to give consent themselves), obtain a passport and be responsible for the child's property (for example financial assets / inheritance)
Regardless of the status of the kinship placement (formal or informal) any carer can apply for a kinship order.
Under section 72 (1) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, a Kinship Care Order means:
|a)||an order under Section 11 (1) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 gives to a qualifying person the right mentioned in section 2 (1) (a) of that Act in relation to a child|
|b)||a residence order which has the effect that a child is to live with , or live predominantly with, a qualifying person, or|
|c)||an order under Section 11 (1) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 appointing a qualifying person as a guardian of a child|
In securing a Section 11 Kinship Care Order, the child will no longer be entitled to apply for Section 29 leaving care financial assistance.
From April 2016, an order under Section 11 (1) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 as specified in section 72 (1)(a) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act is categorised as a kinship order. A Kinship Care Order will decree the right of the applicant to have the child living with them or otherwise to regulate the child's residence
Kinship Care Orders continue until the child reaches 16, unless there is a new court action. In exceptional circumstances, a Section 11 order can continue beyond the age of sixteen. In the majority of cases, a child has sufficient capacity to decide residence by the age of sixteen.
Anyone can approach their solicitor and request a Kinship Care Order however this is best supported by a social worker if one is involved.
The costs associated with a Kinship Care Order will vary dependent upon the solicitors representing the carer however expect to pay something between £1,500 - £3,000 for those cases that are not contested and considerably more where the case is being contested.
This depends on the status of the placement. For those placements which meet the eligibility criteria, Glasgow will contribute up to £1,500 towards the legal costs providing the carer has exhausted options available through Scottish Legal Aid Board. Entitlement to legal aid is based on a household income of less that £26,000.
If you think you may be entitled to financial support as a kinship carer, or want to explore this further, you can contact Social Care Direct on 0141 287 0555 and ask for a Kinship Carer Eligibility Assessment. If you prefer, you can seek an assessment of eligibility through an online application via https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/article/17272/Get-a-Social-Work-Service
If you think you may be entitled to financial support as a kinship carer, or want to explore this further, you can contact Social Care Direct on 0141 287 0555 and ask for a Kinship Carer Eligibility Assessment. If you prefer, you can seek an assessment of eligibility through an online application.
If you are currently working with Children's Social Work Services, you should ask your worker to assess your family situation to see if you are eligible for financial support.
The Kinship Carer Eligibility Assessment will ascertain whether you meet the formal legal requirements to be eligible for kinship allowances. Social Care Direct will pass your enquiry to the local kinship team, who will make contact with you to gather information on your circumstances, and the circumstances of the child or young person in your care. They will assess whether you fit the criteria highlighted on the website, namely whether you are
If you need more information / advice
you can contact your local kinship team leader on:
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, some of our staff are working flexibly so your call may be redirected: we will make every effort to respond to your query within a reasonable timescale.
We have produced a Kinship Newsletter to provide hint / tips & advice and things we think will help you in your role as a Kinship Carer. The first edition is below: