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What is relative and kinship care?

Relative or kinship care is a type of care that places a child or young person with a relative or someone they already know, for example a grandparent. Caring by relatives is a common practice across cultures, but the term kinship care can have different meanings for different cultural groups.

In Aboriginal communities, kin may be a relative of the child or young person or someone who shares a cultural or community connection.

Being cared for by relatives or kin also helps children avoid the trauma of being placed in unfamiliar environments. Unfortunately, not all children or young people have family or kin who can care for them, so foster carers from the wider community are vitally important.

If you want to become a relative or kinship carer, you still need to be assessed. The assessment process is similar to the one to become a foster carer, but not exactly the same.

Carers may be eligible for different allowances depending on the type of relative and kinship care.

Already a relative or kinship carer?

All carers are provided with support, training and advocacy and are supported by a caseworker through an accredited out-of-home-care agency or with Communities and Justice (DCJ). You can access information, support and learning resources through your agency as well as accessing carer support and resources.

Visit the Caring for kids website for searchable, easy to find information about all aspects of caring and raising children, including information on education, health, challenging behaviours, carer support and transition to independence for young people. Relative and kinship carers may also wish to participate in free training, peer support groups and represent carers on the NSW Carer Reference Groups.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019