New to Kinship Care
What to expect, new to Kinship Care
What we do is in the name, we love and raise our kin children, however there are many things that we have to go through that you may not know or even expect. Every case is different depending on the situation, some may not apply to you.
Prepare to have your entire existence from childhood to this point inspected. Your personal life and personal details examined under a microscope by social workers and other professionals. They check that you will be a viable carer and suitable for the permanent order. If you pass the initial viability check, you will then be expected to engage with a fully detailed assessment. You will also have to attend a medical to check your physical health and ensure you are physically able to care for your little one. This assessment will take many visits depending on the information needed.
At the end of the assessment, you must be given a copy of the report. Read it carefully as you must challenge any inaccuracies. Note you have up to 7 days to respond to anything that is incorrect.
Legal Advice & Court
You may be told you don’t need legal advice; We recommend you seek legal advice! You are taking on a legal order, which will involve you all. Make sure you have the knowledge needed to help your kinship pathway succeed for everyone involved.
Your Legal Choice
You should be told of your options, for example Kinship Connected Foster Care; Special Guardianship Order or a Child Arrangement order. We strongly suggest you read into the differences and then make your choice. Do not be pushed into a legal order that is not suitable for you, your family or the kinship child. Please see our FAQ’s for more detailed information about orders.
You should be expected to attend court, we strongly suggest you attend even if you are told there is no need. This is a legal order that will affect you and the child to 18 and possibly longer.
It is essential you have a robust support plan that supports you and the child/ren. We can give you guidance for this, please use our ‘contact us’ form to get in touch, stating SGO Support Plan.
During the process and sometimes afterwards you could be invited to many meetings such as Child In Need, Looked After Child, Personal Education Plan meetings to name a few. In some cases, you may not have any, such is the difference of the Kinship pathway.
Children’s Services may expect you to facilitate contact if it is safe for you and your kinship child. It may be weekly, monthly, six times a year or twice a year. You may also have a say in this, do not be pushed into something that is not manageable, as contact may be for the whole duration of the legal order.
Effects of the process
The child you will care for may be affected by this situation, he/she may suffer from rejection or abandonment and attachment issues. Occasionally they may take this out on you to see if you will abandon them also. We offer support groups that are run by experienced kinship carers that have walked in your shoes and along your path. You are not alone.
Isolation & Privacy
Due to the lack of information carers often think they are the only ones! Please be assured you are not; we provide support groups for people exactly like you. You share what you want to share and ask the questions you need answered for you. We abide by strict confidentiality rules.
Disclaimer/note we are not offering you legal advice; the above information is freely available