Tower Hamlets is committed to ensuring that of those children unable to live at home, as many as possible are cared within their own community and/or family. The Children Act 1989 encourages placement of children with a person connected to that child: a family member or relative, or ‘other suitable person’ unless ‘it would be reasonably impracticable or inconsistent with his/her welfare’ [s23 (6)]. These carers are often referred to as family and friends carers or a connected person.
A ‘connected person’ is defined as a relative, friend or other person connected with a child; for example, a child-minder, teacher or youth worker and would have a pre-existing relationship with the child.
Who can be a family and friends carer?
Whether a friend or family member (connected person) can look after a child would depend on the age, relationship and circumstances of the potential carer. There are lots of different options that family and friends carers can consider when looking after a child and the Permanency, Adoption and Support Team are available to provide this information in more detail. You can contact the team on 0800 279 9850.
There are several options available to looking after a child you know including special guardianship, a Residence Order or by becoming a family and friends foster carer. If you are interested in looking after a child who is known to you, you can read all about the options available to you in our guide: Family and friends Carers.