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Kinship Care Breakdown

We are here to offer you specialist advice on kinship care. Meet our team of experts to provide you with a tailor made service to assist you. At GLC we have experienced lawyers who are specialists in this area of law.

Unfortunately, whether a Care Order, Special Guardinship Order (SGO) or Child Arrangement Order, a lack of support from the Local Authority can sometimes cause a breakdown in a kinship care placement.

Often, the most common reason for placement breakdown is a lack of support. Kinship carers are often caring for very damaged or disabled children who require a high level of support from their Local Authority. Unfortunately, when this is not provided, kinship care breakdown is common.

If you are caring for a family member under a Special Guardianship Order, it is important that you seek legal advice about the implications of a breakdown on the child and what if any, entitlement you have for support and what, if any continuing rights you have for that child if they are removed from your care.

At GLC we are experts in in Grandparents Child Care and Kinship Care and we can give you specialist legal advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

A breakdown can occur when a carer who looks after a child, considers that they are no longer able to care for the child.

If your placement is breaking down we can give you specialist legal advice.

The most common reason for a breakdown in a placement is lack of support.

It may be that the child is or should be classed as a ‘Child in Need’. This is defined under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 as a child who is;

“unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for him of services by a local authority or his health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision for him of such services; or he is disabled”.

Section 17 also states that the Local Authority has a duty to;

“safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need; and so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families, by providing a range and level of services appropriate to those children’s needs”.

On request, Local Authorities must carry out assessments of the child/ren sand they family including the carers to find out what support is required to assist the family. The Local Authority may be challenged if they are failing to provide support services for children in need and their families.

At GLC we can give you specialist legal advice if you are coping with placement breakdown.

You should inform the Local Authority that you feel unable to care for the child any longer and request that they find alternative accommodation for them.

The Local Authority should go to Court to make decisions on the long term planning for the child.

The Local Authority can be challenged about this. The Court does not legally have to issue proceedings themselves however, this is best practice and there is recent case law which criticises Local Authorities for not doing so and therefore it can be challenged.

If you have parental responsibility for the child, through a Child Arrangement or Special Guardianship Order, you are entitled to non-means and non-merits tested legal aid in care proceedings. If you do not have parental responsibility, legal aid is available but it will be means and merits tested. At GLC we will help you with your application for legal aid and we can represent you in the proceedings.

Once the child is made subject to a Care Order, the Local Authority will share parental responsibility with you. The Local Authority will hold LAC reviews to discuss planning for the child which you will be invited to. As part of the Court proceedings, you will get the chance to have your say in relation to the final decisions made for the children, including any arrangements for contact.


We believe in making access to the right advice as simple as possible. Often, we can make a real difference in a single or planned series of phone advice sessions. Call today to speak to our enquiry team for a free initial consultation.

Nigel Priestley

Senior Partner, MBE
Nigel Priestley is a Senior Partner of Ridley & Hall Solicitors and a community care and adoption specialist solicitor. He is a member of the Children’s Panel and regularly represents children and parents in care proceedings. ...

James Cook

Head of Child Care & Public Law Team
James Cook trained and qualified at a South Yorkshire firm where he specialised in family and immigration law. ...
Clare Linden Headshot

Clare Linden

Clare joined Ridley & Hall Solicitors as a Partner in 2018. Clare graduated from Durham University and completed her legal training at the College of Law in York in 2006. Clare qualified as a solicitor in 2008 when she re-located to Leeds to join the niche family law firm McAras and was made a partner in 2013 following the firm’s merger with Simpson Millar solicitors in Leeds....
Headshot Helen Moody

Helen Moody

Helen completed her degree in law in 2009 before continuing her studies part time on the Legal Practice Course whilst working in a solicitors firm in Wakefield to gain experience. Helen joined Ridley & Hall in January 2012 after completion of the Legal Practice Course,  initially as a Legal Assistant working alongside Nigel Priestley to build up experience in the Public Law department. Helen completed her training contract at Ridley & Hall and qualified as a solicitor in October 2016....

Laura Milburn

Laura has many years of legal experience and was called to the Bar in 2010.  After qualifying as a Barrister, Laura cross-qualified to become a Solicitor in 2012.   Laura is a passionate advocate and has used her advocacy and negotiation skills on behalf of many clients over the years. ...

Sarah Brown

Associate Solicitor
Sarah joined Ridley & Hall in 2010 following the completion of her Law Degree. Whilst working at Ridley & Hall she studied the Legal Practice Course part time over two years, completing it in 2012....
Rosie Turner Grandparents Legal Centre

Rosie Turner

Rosie primarily assists clients on a variety of issues in relation to kinship care, particularly claiming allowances and back dated payments for kinship carers from Local Authority’s. Rosie also assists clients with Special Guardianship Order applications and advice in relation to the support that is available under Special Guardianship Orders....

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