Kinship Care is family, friends or connected persons caring for a child or young person when birth parents are unable to. There are two ways in which this can be achieved legally in terms of the following: 

  • Special Guardianship route which is similar to adoption, whereby decision making parental responsibility for the child/young person is taken with support from the Local Authority only as and when needed. Special Guardianship Orders are granted in court.
  • Connected Persons fostering route whereby assessment, supervision and support is provided as with mainstream foster carers. Decision making parental responsibility is usually held by the Local Authority and Foster Carers are approved through an internal Local Authority process.

Public Law Assessments are when the Local Authority has initiated court proceedings and a Special Guardianship Order assessment is needed as an option for the permanent living arrangement for children.

Private Law applications are when individual family members wish to be assessed as Special Guardians for a child/ren where there is no current Local Authority involvement with the family.

A private fostering arrangement is one that is made privately, without the involvement of a local authority, for someone other than a parent or person with parental responsibility (or a close relative) to care for a child under the age of 16 or under 18 if disabled, for 28 days or more.


Following an assessment and approval at fostering panel, connected persons will be allocated a supervising social worker, who will provide ongoing supervision and support in line with fostering regulations. They will also receive the fee element.

Connected persons who have been approved at fostering panel will also keep their assessing social worker, if possible, who will provide ongoing supervision and support in line with fostering regulations.

The Kinship Team run a duty rota which offers support to any Special Guardians, family members or professionals who phone in for help or advice.

Duty is open Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:00 to 17:00. We are available over email, telephone, and if required can arrange to meet with Special Guardians to discuss their circumstances in more detail.

The Kinship Team are currently working towards offering a Connected Persons Support Group separate to the mainstream fostering support group. This is to ensure specific Connected Persons issues are at the front of the support available.

We send regular newsletters to our carers. To receive newsletters, please email the duty team.

Building skills for Kinship Training is a course set up to address the issues directly relating to connected persons. You will be asked to book onto this course during your assessment.

For more information or advice and support on specific issues please phone our Kinship Duty number 01823 358222 or email


Connected persons foster carers will receive the age-related weekly fostering allowance that all foster carers receive, whilst the child is in their care. See all the fees and allowances here.

During their period of temporary approval, whilst awaiting Panel, Kinship and connected persons carers will receive the age-related allowance for the child only, and not the weekly fee. They will only receive the weekly fostering fee upon full approval at Panel. 

Kinship and connected persons foster carers who look after a child related or known to them will usually receive the standard fostering fees, as detailed here.

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