Children and families
Family and Friends Care Policy
Most children are brought up by one or more of their parents, but it has been estimated that up to 300,000 children in the UK are cared for full time by a relative, friend, or other person previously connected with the child.
These arrangements are covered by a range of different legal statuses including ‘Looked After Children’ that are placed with family members and friends who have been approved as ‘Family and Friends Foster Carers’.
Family and friends play a unique role in enabling children and young people to remain with people they know and trust if they cannot, for whatever reason, live with their parents.
These children may or may not be ‘Looked After’ by the local authority, or even known to it. The majority of the relatives who provide care are grandparents, aunts and uncles, but the group includes others such as older siblings.
Many children who are cared for by family and friends do well in life, but others are vulnerable to failing to achieve good outcomes. Many family and friends carers both want and need support to enable them to meet the needs of the children they care for.
Whilst every child must be considered on an individual basis according to their assessed needs, the Family and Friends Care Policy sets out how such need will be assessed and support provided where needed.