Kinship care

Kinship Care

How we help

Here’s how we helped one kinship care family set up a new home and start to rebuild their lives.

Emotional and Social needs

Kinship care occurs when friends or relatives take on care of a child or young person when their parents are no longer able to look after them. This could be for a variety of reasons ranging from mental or physical health concerns, substance misuse issues or bereavement. It is estimated that there could be as many as 200,000 children in the UK today living in kinship care environments. However, whilst this can avert a child being placed into foster care, many kinship carers report financial challenges in light of having to take care of children in unforeseen circumstances, often with heightened support needs.

Some examples of how we can help tackle these issues include:

  • Clubs to help them integrate into a new community or build relationships with their peers, for example, after school clubs
  • Activities that allow a child to explore their feelings for example drama or art club
  • Therapy for example, art therapy or play therapy

Things to consider

Is the child or young person demonstrating any emotional issues, for example withdrawal, depression or lacking self-confidence?

Do they have a safe space to talk about their feelings?

Are they isolated or struggling to adapt to their new environment?

Do they need an outlet to help manage behavioural or emotional difficulties?

Is their relationship with their carers or siblings a positive one?

Household needs

We understand that the responsibility of looking after a child can come at little notice and bring unforeseen financial stress, often at difficult times for the potential carer. That’s why we can also help set up a home as part of the grant. We can consider things such as:

  • Essential home furniture such as a cooker or a child’s bed
  • Items to decorate or personalise a child’s bedroom
  • Clothing and school uniform
  • Toys and baby equipment
  • Help with moving costs

Things to consider

Does the family or young person have the basic essentials needed to take care of their fundamental needs?

Does the child have things to stimulate them in the home?

Do they feel safe and secure in their new bedroom?

Is the child having to share things that they previously had of their own – for instance sharing a bed with their new sibling?

Are the carers able to provide for all of the child’s material needs without going into problem debt?

Educational needs

Children can enter kinship care environments having experienced any number of issues that can interrupt their education. To help minimise this disruption, we can help by offering support, including paying for:

  • Books and educational toys
  • Educational supplies such as laptops, stationery and equipment
  • School uniforms
  • Tutoring lessons
  • Homework club
  • Tools and technical equipment
  • Travel costs to and from college

Things to consider

Has their schooling been significantly disrupted?

Are they behind their peers in school?

Do they have all the tools they need to excel in school or college?

What are the material barriers to their training or education?

Are they eligible?

Who can we help

To be considered for enhanced support, applicants must be:

  • Children or young people aged 18 or under; in financial hardship and who have experienced at least one other social issue – such as for example, mental or physical ill-health, neglect, homelessness, or bereavement.
  • Receiving on-going, regular support from a professional organisation.
  • Normally resident in the UK with the intention to remain in the country long term.
  • Applicants must have ensured that every effort has been made to check that a statutory, education or governmental body cannot fund the activity or item being requested.

Applicants must have already exhausted all other sources of public funds for which they are eligible, including their Local Authority’s Welfare Provision Scheme. You can find your local scheme on the Child Poverty Action Group website

We are unable to help:

  • Children who are Looked After by the Local Authority
  • Where there is any other clear statutory responsibility for meeting their needs

If your client is not eligible for this funding stream there may be others here

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Applications must be completed by an organisation that is supporting the family or young person and is capable of assessing their needs. The referrer should also be able to administer and supervise the grant on our behalf.

Don’t have a support worker?

Can't find what you're looking for?

We can consider a broad range of requests provided it is demonstrated to meet the needs of the child or young person. While Buttle UK has to work within specific criteria, we also aim to provide a flexible grant programme to assist those most in need. Follow the link to access our general enquiry form.

Please note you must commit to sending us receipts for each item purchased with the grant. If you are unsure as to whether we will be able to consider your request and you wish to discuss a case prior to making an application please contact us on info@buttleuk.org or 0207 828 7311.

If the only need you have identified is for essential household items you should apply here.


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