Most children are likely to have a happy and contented childhood if brought up by their birth parents. This is not possible for a minority of children, however.
For these children we believe that living with an adult already known to them – usually, but not always, a member of their extended family – is best. We call these adults "family and friends carers".
Families can usually sort out their difficulties without any help from us, but we understand that sometimes either the child or those caring for them will need support. When this happens we look at the needs of the child and try to help the family to support itself.
We listen to the wishes and feelings of children and young people, and make sure they are always involved in decisions that affect them.
By law, we must support children living in a range of situations away from their parents. Our policy below shows how we do this.