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Question for Department for Education

UIN 131547, tabled on 7 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to support kinship carers.

Answered on

16 March 2018

The government recognises the important role that family and friends play in caring for children who are unable to live with their parents. Most children benefit from living with someone they already know and trust rather than a stranger.

The government issued statutory guidance in 2011 for local authorities (LAs) about supporting family and friends providing care for children who cannot live with their parents. The guidance makes it clear that children and young people should receive the support that they and their carers need to safeguard and promote their welfare. It explains that support, including financial support, can be provided under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. There is no limit on the level of financial support that local authorities can provide.

LAs are required to publish a policy setting out their approach to promoting and supporting the needs of all children living with family and friends carers, regardless of their legal status. The department has recently written to local authorities to remind them of this requirement and that the policy should be clear, regularly updated, and made freely and widely available.