Extending legal aid to all kinship carers
More legal aid provision is needed to help families and friends to look after children and avoid them having to go into care.
Kinship carers are relatives (grandparents, siblings, aunts or uncles) or family friends who step in to take care of a child when they cannot be raised by their parents. This allows children to stay within a family or friends’ unit, avoiding the need for them to go into the care system.
However, many potential kinship carers cannot access legal advice when deciding whether to provide care for their family members and the different ways to do so – such as under a special guardianship order (SGO), child arrangement order (CAO) or as a foster carer.
Lack of legal aid and advice is undermining kinship care, according to a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kinship Care.
We support the APPG’s call for non-means tested free legal advice for kinship carers to ensure they know their rights and can secure a child’s future.