What is Kinship Care?


Sometimes a child will go to live full-time with an aunt, uncle, grandparent or a family friend when they can’t live with their parents. The decision for this to happen can be made formally or informally and is called kinship care.

Can I be a kinship carer if I am a single parent?

Yes, you can be a kinship carer if you are single, a single parent or part of a couple.

What is the difference between being a kinship carer and a foster carer?

A kinship carer is known to the child and normally receives an allowance for looking after a child, whereas a foster carer is almost always not known to the child and gets paid as it is seen as a job.

Will I get paid for looking after a child?

It depends on how you come to be a kinship carer, whether it is through the council/social work or a more informal route, but you should get some payment or benefits.

Will money I get for being a kinship carer affect my benefits?

Yes, it might, and it can be complicated. For help to sort out your money and benefits, contact Citizens Advice Scotland’s Kinship Care Service’s Helpline on 0808 800 0006. Its open Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.

Where can I go for help and support to make this decision?

The National Kinship Care Service has a Helpline, webchat and email for you to contact them.

Related Content

Children 1st have more information available on Kinshape Care and also have a helpline: 0800 028 2233.

See Children 1st