Become a Family Link carer

We welcome applications from single people and couples, from all different backgrounds and with or without children living at home. You may be working, not in employment or retired.

Application process

Initial contact

Email or phone the scheme to request a leaflet or for a preliminary discussion with the scheme social worker. You will be asked about your family circumstances, current employment, accommodation, general health, relevant experience and availability. If appropriate, the social worker will arrange to visit you at home.

Initial home visit

This is an opportunity for further information sharing. The scheme social worker will need to meet your partner, if s/he is resident. The social worker will gather more detailed information about your personal and family circumstances and ask to see around your home.

It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and find out more about the assessment process and how the scheme works in practice. Following this visit, the scheme social worker and team manager will discuss whether it is appropriate for an application to proceed and advise you of their recommendation.

Complete an application form

This will be provided by the scheme social worker and the assessment and statutory checks will commence after this is received.


The scheme social worker is responsible for organising all the statutory checks, medicals and references and for preparing the assessment report. This will require several meetings at your home with you and your partner and children, where applicable, and the assessment takes approximately four months to complete. This may seem a lengthy process but you will be supported throughout by the scheme social worker.

During this period, you may also have the opportunity to attend an introductory course with other applicants. If you do not have previous relevant experience, you may be asked to consider doing some voluntary work with disabled children to help evidence your skills. When the assessment report is completed, it is presented to the Family Link Panel.

Family Link Panel

This is a group of people who have an in depth knowledge of disability and short break care services. Some are local authority employees and some are independent members. The Panel meets every two months and is responsible for recommending the approval of new Family Link carers. You will be invited to attend the Panel with the scheme social worker who will offer ongoing support and supervision following your approval.

Further information

Richmond Family Link is part of the Disabled Children’s service in Richmond upon Thames.

To find out more about becoming a Family Link carer, contact us:

Phone: 020 8831 6045 (scheme social worker)

Updated: 16 November 2017