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.