Copyright 2017 © Kinship Friendship

Many Kinship Carers have questions about finances (love alone doesn't put food on the table) and any extra support that they can get.  This page is by no means a definitive answer to everyone's questions but we hope it will point you in the right direction.

Looked After Child
  • If your child is "LAC" and you are fostering them, you should be paid the same rate as a non-related foster carer (for the maintenance element).

  • You are not entitled to the "wage" element that non-related foster carers get.

  • This said, there are various Local Authorities looking into this as the argument is if a Kinship Foster Carer goes through the same checks, training and has the same role as a non-related carer, why shouldn't they be entitled to both elements?  Some LAs are now looking into enhancing payments dependent upon the levels of training a Kinship Carer has undertaken.  This is a new idea and very much a work in progress, so very early days but we will keep you posted.

  • If your child is LAC, you will not have parental responsibility and therefore will not be entitled to Child Benefit and Tax Credits for that child.

Check below for a list of useful links.

Residence Order/Child Arrangement Order

  • This gives you joint Parental Responsibility for the child in your care.

  • You are able to claim for Child Benefit and Tax credits.

  • You MAY be entitled to a Residence/Child Arrangement Order Allowance but this is very much dependent on the involvement of Social Services in your particular case and it may be at their discretion.

Check below for a list of useful links

Special Guardianship Order

  • Part of the assessment for this Order involves an assessment on the family's needs; financial and otherwise.

  • It is means tested and cannot duplicate any other benefits you can access with this Order (ie, Tax Credits and Child Benefit).

  • It is ALWAYS a good idea to request your Local Authority to provide a breakdown of how they achieve the final figure they are paying you (mistakes do happen!)

  • You will need to provide proof of your earnings, outgoings and any benefits you have coming into the home.

  • When going through the process of an SGO it is VERY important to check through the support package; will it be means tested?, will it be paid up to the age of 18?, is there any grey areas you need clarification on?

  • Make sure you ASK and get the answer in writing BEFORE the SGO is finalised.

  • You need to be happy and feel secure that you can financially manage bringing up this child into adulthood.

  • Don't risk a placement breaking down because of financial hardships.

Check below for a list of useful links

Section 17 Payments

  • These are one-off, very often discretionary, payments that Local Authorities can make in order to help with a child.

  • Examples of this may be travel expenses, start up costs for having a child come to live with you, etc.

  • Funding is there for this but you do have to ASK and push as you may not be offered it!

Check below for a list of useful links

A fellow Kinship Carer very kindly came up with a table of the 3 main statuses of a child and what the implications are; both legally and financially.  The financial side of things have been highlighted in RED.


Financial Support.