Kinship Care is when a child or young person is cared for by a relative or family friend, because they are not able to live with their parents. If you are a grandparent, aunt, uncle, older brother, or sister, relative or family friend, who is raising a child who is unable to live with their parents, you are a kinship carer.
Most children are in the care of their relatives or family network, because their parents are unable, or unavailable to care for them, due to circumstances such as parental drug or alcohol misuse, imprisonment, parental physical or mental health issues. Kinship care can also arise from the death of a parent.
As such, children and young people in kinship care have often experienced early trauma, chaos, crisis and loss and may need specific supports to help them to thrive.
Kinship Care can part of a formal arrangement, where a relative is ‘fostering’ the child, or informal, when the family member or friend steps in voluntarily, perhaps because Social Workers ask for them to be part of a ‘private family arrangement’.
When you become a Kinship Carer, as well as building a positive, nurturing relationship with the children and young people in your care, you will need to carefully consider the responsibilities involved and the potential effects on your household, of supporting additional family members.
Depending on how your kinship family is formed, there are different routes through which to secure your legal relationship with and responsibility for the children and young people in your care, to ensure that their rights can be exercised and protected.
To seek access to legal advice and/or representation, see:
Currently, there are limited financial supports available to informal kinship carers.
Child Benefit is a monthly payment made to parents or guardians of children under 16 years of age, or up to 18 if they are in full-time education or full-time training or have a disability and cannot support themselves.
If you are taking full-time care of a child who is regarded as an ‘orphan’, they may also qualify for the Guardian’s Payment.
For more information on the Guardian’s Payment, see:
Kinship Care, based in Treoir provides information and support to kinship carers and to those who work closely with kinship families.
Contact Kinship Care in Treoir
Call or Text: 087 1487124