Connected carers

Connected carers are relatives or friends who look after children who cannot live with their parents. Usually the children in these situations already have a relationship with their connected carers before they go and live with them. Connected carers may include people who are not related to the child, but who are still in the child’s network, someone the child knows well and trusts, for example:

  • a good neighbour
  • a parent of a school friend
  • a close family friend.

In England and Wales, the Children Act 1989 states that when a child has to live away from home, the local council shall ‘make arrangements to enable them to live with a relative, friend or other person connected with him, unless that would not be reasonably practical or consistent with their welfare’. In England the local council must “give preference” to such an arrangement.

Connected carers will have support from a fostering social worker as well as the child’s social worker. To support connected carers we offer:

  • monthly fostering support groups which are specific for connected carers
  • a wealth of training available both online and in person
  • support with practical arrangements such as managing family time.

There are a number of organisations which can provide further information about being a connected carer such as the Family Rights Group and The Fostering Network.