Senior woman is embracing her daughter

Family and Friends Care

Most children are brought up by one or more of their parents, but it has been estimated that up to 300,000 children in the UK are cared for full time by a relative, friend, or other person previously connected with the child.

The role of family and friends

Family and friends play a unique role in enabling children and young people to remain with people they know and trust if they cannot, for whatever reason, live with their parents.

Many children who live in family and friends care do well in life, but others need help and support to do the best they can. Many family and friends carers both want and need support to enable them to meet the needs of the children they care for.

Family and friends care policy

The government has therefore asked each Council to set out in a policy how it will assess and provide help to family and friends who become carers for children who cannot live with their birth parents. The family and friends care policy (PDF, 371KB) sets out our approach and timescale for developing this policy.

Page last reviewed: 01 November 2023