Growing up in a loving, nurturing and stimulating environment helps children to develop into happy, healthy and successful adults.
Where parents are unable to provide care for their children, the family and friends who step in as carers make a huge contribution in helping to give children the best possible chance to fulfil their potential.
The government is committed to ensuring that children have the best start in life within a strong and supportive family. As part of this commitment, statutory guidance for local authorities (LAs) and partner agencies came into force in April 2011.
This statutory guidance addresses concerns about transparency and equity, by requiring all local authorities to have a policy on the support they provide to family and friend carers in different circumstances. It recognises that, whilst there are legal requirements to provide support for looked-after children, services should not be allocated solely on that basis.
LAs were required to publish their policy by September 2011.
The LA policy should set out how their authority proposes to meet the needs of children being looked after by family and friends, and identify what support and services are available to them locally.
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Children's Minister's letter about the statutory guidance for family and friends care sent on 28 May 2012.
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An organisation which supports grandparents and their families.
An organisation which provides advice to parents and other family members who are involved with or require childrens' social services because of welfare needs or concerns.
Advice for foster carers.
Champions the roles of grandparents and the wider family in childrens' lives.