Caring for family or a close friend

A family and friends carer looks after a child who cannot be cared for by their birth parents. They may be a:

  • grandparent
  • aunt or uncle
  • brother or sister
  • family friend

As a carer you are providing a child who cannot live with their parents, giving them love, support and sense of belonging. 

You may become a carer in a crisis without any notice and may yourself be deeply affected by the events that have caused these situations. We are here to support not only the child but you through the changes. There is help from Newcastle council as well as local support groups that you can contact for extra support. 

Key facts: 

  • If a child comes to live with you at the request of the local authority, they are then a "looked after child". In this case you must be approved as a foster carer 
  • All foster carers are entitles to an allowance to meet the costs of caring for the child as well as services to support both child and you
  • Children who come to live with you without involvement from local authority do not require you to be as a approved foster carer, you can still receive help 

Long term arrangements:

You may wish to make long term commitment to the child you care. You can apply for a Child Arrangement Orders or a special guardianship order, this will give you parental responsibility and the child will no longer be looked after if they previously were. Relatives caring for a child in these long term arrangements are entitled to child benefit and any other benefits available to parent subject to the usual eligibility criteria. There are also other support available based on your arrangement.