Family and friends foster carers with two grand children.

Family and friends foster care

A family and friends foster carer often known as a 'connected carer' or ‘kinship carer’ is usually a family member such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle. It can also be someone who already knows the child or young person well, for example a teacher.

Here in Lancashire we assess extended family or friends of children who can no longer remain in the care of their parents. Our referrals are received from the children's social work teams in Lancashire. Often friends and family volunteer or are asked to look after our children in emergency circumstances. These carers still go through the foster carer application and assessment process, even if they have already looked after the child.

Family and friends assessments

We have a specialist team available to assess and support family and friends during their assessment process. We complete both fostering and Special Guardianship assessments, known as the ‘dual assessment’. The team works closely with families and friends to support them to decide if they can care for children who may be a relative or friend either in an emergency or to provide lasting homes when children cannot return to birth parent's care. You will be supported to take part in specialist kinship preparation training and the assessment process is inclusive and non-judgmental. The team works closely with colleagues in Lancashire's children's teams, legal and the courts in conjunction with appropriate legislation to support timely decisions for our children.

Our connected carers

Some family and friends are approved as foster carers temporarily when they are completing their assessment. These carers are known as ‘regulation 24’ carers. They are able to access all of the same support as our connected carers.

All family or friends who care for a child when a child or young person cannot live with their parents are supported to provide a stable home life where children can grow and develop in a safe, positive environment.

"Myself and my husband Mike have been connected carers for our niece for the last 5 years. Although it was a tremendous shock to us at first and not the retirement that we had dreamed and planned, we adjusted to our new role and took pride in the fact that we were giving our niece the best possible care. Even though at times it all seemed so overwhelming, the help and support we received and are still receiving from Lancashire County Council and the caring social workers means so much. Our niece is thriving at school and we are so very proud of the way she has adapted and settled into her new way of life with us". Chris and Mike, connected carers.


If you are already an approved connected carer you may find more useful information on our approved carers pages.

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If you'd prefer to speak to someone give us a call on:

0300 019 0200