This House of Commons Library briefing paper considers what help is available for grandparents and other family and friends carers (also known as kinship carers) looking after children where their parents are not in a position to do so.

There are a number of different types of arrangement for family and friends care, including: private arrangements (both statutory and non-statutory), family and friends local authority foster care, child arrangement orders and special guardianship orders.

Financial help may be available for family and friends carers from local authorities and/or the social security/tax credits systems. Eligibility for assistance may depend upon the legal basis of the care arrangement and financial assistance may be means-tested.

The first section of this note provides information on financial support available from local authorities for different types of kinship care arrangements, and the second gives details of the social security benefits and tax credits that may be available.

Any individual considering taking responsibility for a child or young person should seek legal or professional advice.

This briefing paper applies to England and Wales. Links to information on kinship care in Scotland are provided in section 2 of the paper.