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Family and Friends Care: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities

This statutory document aims to improve outcomes for children and young people who, because they are unable to live with their parents, are being brought up by members of their extended families, friends or other people who are connected with them. In particular it provides guidance on the implementation of the duties in the Children Act 1989 in respect of such children and young people.

The guidance makes it clear that children and young people who are unable to live with their parents should receive the support that they and their carers need to safeguard and promote their welfare, whether or not they are looked after. It aims to ensure that local authorities understand when such children should become looked after, and sets out what local authorities and their partners should do to deliver effective services to children and young people who are living with family members or friends in any of the following circumstances:

  • in informal arrangements with a relative
  • in informal arrangements with friends or other family members which last for a period of less than 28 days
  • as a private fostering arrangement
  • as a looked after child placed with foster carers
  • under a residence order or special guardianship order, or
  • in arrangements which may lead to an adoption order.