Connected persons (family and friends)

What is a connected person care?

This is when a child/young person who is ‘looked after’ by the local authority is placed with a family member/s (other than a parent) or a friend who knows the child very well by the directorate of children’s services.

 

A child/young person is described as ‘looked after’ if they are accommodated by the local authority under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 or are subject to an Interim or full Care Order issued by the court.

 

 

Who are connected persons?

Connected persons can be:

  • grandparents
  • aunts and uncles
  • adult brothers and sisters
  • other family members or friends of the family who have an important relationship with the children

 

 

How do I become a connected person?

If a child becomes ‘looked after’ by the directorate of children’s services, its allocated social worker would explore whether the child could be placed within its family or with someone well known to the child. If a family member or friend wanted to care for the child the social worker would need to assess whether this was a safe and suitable placement and in the best interests of the child.

 

 

The assessment process

  • you will be required to complete a connected person application form
  • you will be expected to have full medical checks with your GP. This will be paid for by the  directorate of children’s services
  • you must provide two personal referees who are not related to you and who could comment on your suitability as a prospective carer. Referees will also be interviewed by the social worker
  • you and members of your household over 16 must provide relevant ID and agree to a Criminal Records Bureau check being undertaken
  • a social worker would then prepare a report about you which would be presented to the fostering panel who would give their view on whether you should be a family and friends carer for a particular child

 

 

What happens if I have been approved as a connected person?

Once it has been agreed that you can be approved; you will be sent a formal letter telling you that you are approved as a family and friends carer. This letter will name the children you are approved to carer for.

 

  • you will be invited to join the Fostering Network
  • you will be allocated a supervising social worker from the fostering team
  • relevant training and support will be given
  • your approval will be reviewed each year
  • you will be paid a weekly allowance for the child for whom you care

 

 

The role of the social worker for the child/young person in your care

The child will have a social worker who will visit him/her at least 6 weekly to monitor their progress. This worker will also organise looked after (LAC) child reviews and work with other professionals such as teachers and health workers to ensure the child’s welfare needs are met.

 

 

What payments do I receive?

Connected persons receive a weekly allowance. The amount of allowance paid depends on the child’s age.

 

Connected persons who receive a fostering allowance are not entitled to claim Income Support or Child Benefit for the child/young person in their care.

 

If you claim Income Support for yourself and your family, this will not be affected by being a connected persons. Job Seeker’s Allowance however, may be affected.

 

 

Useful organisations

The Family Rights Group

Grandparents Plus

 

@DudleyBorough

@dudleymbc

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