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Financial support for carers of family or friend’s children

Financial support for carers of family or friend’s children

Family and friend carers may be entitled to child benefit, child tax credit or other financial help.

If you want to claim Child Benefit, you’ll need talk to the parents of the child, because only one person can get Child Benefit for the child.

You can get help from Citizens Advice Bristol.

Find out more about children and family benefits.

Child in Need payments

Where a child is cared for informally or in a private fostering arrangement, we can make Child In Need payments.

We’ll assess the needs of the child and your financial circumstances.

The three types of payment are:

  • a one off payment for items like a school uniform or bedroom furniture
  • short term financial support if you take unpaid time off work or a career break to support the child in their new environment
  • regular payments for an agreed number of weeks until more permanent arrangements are made, so you can continue to care for a child in the longer term

Payments are paid to the carer, not the parents.

Allowances for foster carers

Family and friend foster carers get the same allowances as other foster carers.

Child arrangements order allowance

Talk to your social worker to find out if you can get this allowance.

Adoption Allowance and Special Guardianship Allowance

You may be entitled to an allowance following an assessment of the child’s needs and a financial means test. This can be paid until the child is 18 years of age. Find out more about Adoption Allowance and Guardianship Allowance on the GOV.UK website.

Guardian allowance

The Guardian's Allowance is a benefit paid to someone who is looking after a child whose parents have died. In some circumstances it can be paid when only one parent has died. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how much you earn.

Private child maintenance arrangement

You can arrange child maintenance privately with the child’s parents. If this can’t be agreed, contact the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency (CSA).

Residence or special guardianship orders

If you‘re applying for residence or special guardianship orders, you may be able to get financial help for legal fees. You’ll be assessed to see if this applies to you.

Parental leave

Your employer should provide information about relevant parental leave entitlements. If you’re adopting, you might be eligible for statutory adoption leave or shared parental leave.