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Cardiff Council

Family and friends carers

​​​​​Family and friends carers are also sometimes known as ‘Kinship’ carers.

When children need to be looked after away from home, Children's Services' first choice is usually a family foster placement and this is often agreed with the child's parents. Ideally the placement will be somewhere not too far from their own home and most children will return home after a few days, weeks or months.

A few children will be unable to return to their parents a more permanent home will be needed so work will be undertaken with the family to try to identify someone that the child already knows; this can include:


  • grandparents
  • older siblings
  • aunts and uncles
  • family friends


but could be anybody who is a relative or already knows the child.

Children benefit from living in a stable family with a legally secure relationship with their carers and when a potential family or friend (Kinship) carer is being explored for a child the following options will normally be considered:


Adoption lasts for life and once an Adoption Order is made it cannot be revoked; with adoption birth parents lose all their parental responsibility. Adoption is the first option to consider however, it isn’t always possible​
With a Special Guardianship Order, the child is no longer the responsibility of the council, but the child’s birth parents retain parental responsibility if they held it   previously. In practice the special guardian is responsible for all day to day decisions. The main decisions that they still have to consult the birth parents on (or apply to a court for) are:
  • changing a child’s surname
  • living abroad for more than 3 months
  • consent to adoption


These orders last until the child is 18 and can be varied or discharged – but a birth parent has to show the Court that there has been a significant change in their circumstances to apply for a change in the order.

Residence Orders decide where the child is to live and with whom. They automatically give the carer or carers a share of parental responsibility for the child if they do not already have it. The birth parents don’t lose parental responsibility but they are limited in what they can decide.


The order usually lasts until the child is 18.

With Kinship Foster Carer, the child remains looked after and the responsibility of the council however, the child’s birth parents retain parental responsibility if they held it previously. Kinship Foster carers are assessed in the same way as other Foster Carers, the only difference is that they are being assessed to see if they can be approved to care for the specific child (or children) that they know.


The expectations that the Fostering Service have for Kinship Foster Carers are the same as those for all other approved Foster Carers. Kinship Foster Carers receive the same support, benefits and training as other types of approved Foster Carers

Get in touch


If you would like to find out more about fostering for Cardiff please contact our fostering team.

Contact us


029 20873797
© 2022 Cardiff Council