The Government has introduced The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus (Amendment) Regulations 2020 to temporarily relax and amend requirements imposed under children’s services during the coronavirus pandemic. This Kinship Care Alliance briefing drafted by Family Rights Group sets out extracts from the Department for Education’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for children’s social care services. It summaries concerns about the process to date and tracks proposed amendments with the intention of informing local authority practice and Government thinking, including the next iteration of the guidance. 29 May 2020
The amendments primarily focus upon:
- A duty on local authorities to explore suitable wider family placements prior to a child becoming looked after, including offering families a family group conference;
- Extending the provisions to support educational attainment of previously looked after children to all children in kinship care. And similarly extending the pupil premium plus and prioritising school admissions for these children;
- Extending the post adoption support fund to all special guardians;
- Extending adopters' employment rights to all special guardians;
- A new general duty on local authorities to provide kinship care support services and to have a named designated lead manager on kinship care.
Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015
Family Rights Group on behalf of the Kinship Care Alliance is extremely concerned about the potentially negative impact of some of the measures in the Bill on kinship carers.
The following briefings sets out our specific concerns.
- Briefing for House of Lords report stage of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill on an amendment to exempt kinship carers from the limiting of child tax credit to 2 children
- Written evidence to the House of Commons Welfare Reform and Work Bill
- Written submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights
- A briefing to peers on an amendment to exempt kinship carers from the child tax credit two children limit
- Briefing for the House of Lords on an amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to exempt kinship care households from the benefit cap
- Briefing for the House of Lords on an amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill in respect of exempting kinship carers raising children aged under 5 from work conditionality requirements
Read the latest briefing from the Kinship Care Alliance
Kinship Care Alliance’s policy briefing and recommendations for local government and Parliament, October 2011
The briefing summarises the latest research on family and friends care and the legal and support framework including new requirements on English local authorities towards family and friends carers and the children they are raising. It sets out recommendations and suggestions for both local authorities and Government.
Kinship Care Alliance’s response to the consultation on Ofsted’s inspection of services for children in need or help and protection, children looked after and care leavers, July 2013-07-15
The Kinship Care Alliance’s submission to the House of Lords select committee on adoption legislation, July 2012
Kinship Care Alliance wins benefits concession, June 2012
The Kinship Care Alliance welcomes the Government's concession which will mean that for a year at least family and friends carers, rather than face a benefits penalty for not actively seeking work, will be able to spend their time prioritising the settling in of vulnerable children who may have suffered trauma or abuse and who may have moved school as well as home. Further information.
Kinship Care Alliance: Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, November 2011
The Kinship Care Alliance has serious concerns about the legal aid bill that is currently going through Parliament. We fear it could result in impoverished relatives, such as grandparents not getting legal aid to cover the costs and court fees of applying for a permanent legal order so that their grandchild, who is at risk, can be live with them. We fear, that unless Ministers address such concerns, more children could end up at suffering abuse or in the care system, at greater cost to the child’s wellbeing and the public purse.
Lobbying for safe arrangements for children of parents in custody
Members of the Kinship Care Alliance have expressed concern about the arrangements for children when their parents are imprisoned. We wrote to Government Ministers calling for:
- a statutory obligation on judges to enquire whether safe arrangements have been made for children when parents/carers are remanded to custody; and
- that this is backed up by a process enabling the court to refer to Children's Services, where necessary, to protect and support the welfare of the child.
The Kinship Care Alliance's submission to the Department of Education's consultation on the closure of the Education Maintenance Allowance, May 2011
We deeply regret the Government's decision to abolish Education Maintenance Allowance. This short submission focuses on ensuring that children being raised in family and friends care are considered within any subsequent bursary scheme.