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Kinship care

Kinship care is when a child lives full-time or most of the time with a relative or friend because they are unable to live with their parents, usually because their parents are unable to provide them with care and support.

That relative or friend is called a 'kinship carer' and it is estimated that around half of kinship carers are grandparents and also include older siblings, aunts, uncles, as well as family friends and neighbours.

There are different types of kinship care which includes children who may be:

  • living in an informal arrangement by their parents
  • 'looked after' by the council and placed with kinship foster carers
  • on a Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangement Order (formerly Residence Order)

Kinship carers

Kinship carers play a crucial role in County Durham providing a safe, loving and familiar home for children which allows children to remain living with their wider families, often within their local communities and helps keep families together.

If you are a kinship carer and need practical help, advice, support or simply someone to talk to, please Contact Kinship care and support.

Support we provide

Our Kinship Care and Support Team offers advice, support and information to kinship carers and their families, including:

  • Financial support and advice on a huge range of matters including benefits, debt management, free school meals, Pupil Premium Plus, transport provision, energy saving schemes and additional funding initiatives.
  • Emotional and mental health support, including access to therapeutic support for both children and their kinship carers and a telephone support line.
  • Signposting to services across the council, voluntary and community sector services, local and national charities, external agencies and peer support groups.

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