Some children, for a variety of reasons, are unable to live with their birth parents and many of them move to live with wider family or friends. This may be done with or without the involvement of children's services. However, children’s services may provide support for their arrangements whether or not the child is looked after.
The Children Act 1989 puts local authorities under a duty to consider placing looked-after children with family and friends carers unless this would not be reasonably practical or consistent with the child's welfare.
The Government has published statutory guidance for local authorities on Family and Friends Care; this sets out the requirement on local authorities to develop equitable and transparent policies for delivering effective services to those children, young people and their carers across the range of legal arrangements which underpin family and friends care. The guidance includes how “connected persons” (who know the child) may be involved in their care. The guidance came in to force on 1 April 2011.
Guidance for local authorities on the legal framework and the requirement to have a clear policy on support available to family and friends carers
Additional information and research that colleagues and carers may find of interest includes:
Family or friends carers may want to consider contacting the organisations listed below.
Family Rights Group
Telephone: 0800 731 1696
The Grandparents' Association
Organisation type: Other
Telephone: 01279 444 964
Telephone: 0800 040 7675
Telephone: 020 8981 8001
The final research briefing in the Every Child Matters series.
PDF, 183 Kb
Details of research projects funded by the Department for Education (DfE).