Kinship Carers at breaking point

Together we are Forbes

Article

22 October, 2019

The charity, Grandparents Plus, has highlighted that kinship carers are at breaking point due to the care system's "dump and run" approach.

Kinship carers are family members or friends who put themselves forward to care for a child when there is local authority involvement and the child is removed from the parents. The premise of such a placement is to ensure a child remains in their family unit.

There are, however, many Kinship carers who feel that once the placement is approved they are left to their own devices with little or no help offered. Whilst financial assistance makes up part of the package some Kinship carers believe that there should be a much better package of practical support in place.

Sue and Ian Spence are Kinship carers for their grandchild and have experienced these problems first-hand. Mrs Spence told Sky News: "We've had some training that the local authority arranged…" but that there have been times when "…you've been at your wits end and just want to walk out the door". Read the full article here.

In placements of this nature many children present with very difficult and challenging behaviours. Grandparents Plus found that 84% of Kinship carers felt under pressure to put themselves forward to care and that they had not received the advice and information that they so desperately required.

There are around 200,000 children in kinship care and the process for claiming child, tax or universal credit for family members looking after them isn't always straightforward. That is why it is essential that Kinship carers take legal advice immediately upon receipt of their assessment.

At Forbes we can assist in advising prospective Kinship carers. Often the relevant local authority will pay the costs of the advice and at that appointment we can ensure that the right package is in place both financially and by way of support.

For more information contact Samuel McDevitt in our Family/Divorce department via email or phone on 01257 260600. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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