Many kinship carers step in quickly in a climate of crisis and fear, with little time or access to independent information and advice, or support to consider their options. Only later do they realise that support is determined by the child’s legal order – it is usually discretionary and it can be means tested, time limited or cut for good.

Kinship carers should have access specialist and independent information and advice specific to the needs of every kinship family as soon as they are asked to look after the child, for as long as they need it to ensure they are able to access allowances and benefits they are entitled to, as well as signposting to peer support groups.

They also need access to free, independent legal advice in order to make informed decisions about the care arrangements they make for the child.