If the child of a relative or close family friend is living with you, this is called kinship care or family and friends care. You might have been asked to have a friend or relatives child live with you all or most of the time if their parents are unable to look after them.
Kinship care can provide a safe and stable home for children with already known and familiar adults. It can be a rewarding experience, but it can also take time to adjust to your new role as a carer.
You can also read our advice on how to support a child through kinship care.
Your responsibility for the child in your care will depend on the type of care arrangement you have.
It might be a big change for you, having a child come to live with you and it’s understandable to have a range of feelings. Make sure you stay connected with family and friends and continue to have time for yourself doing things you enjoy.
It also helps to build a support network:
Becoming a kinship carer can also have a financial impact on you and your family. Check with your local authority about financial support that is available in your area. The type of financial support depends on the type of kinship care arrangement you have. You may be able to receive Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Pension Credit, Guardian Allowance or Universal Credit.
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