Kinship Care: is it time for a national debate?

Kinship care is when family members or friends take on the care of children who, for many different reasons, are unable to remain living at home with their parents. Kinship care comes in different shapes and sizes. A child with kinship carers may not need to enter the formal care system, they may live with a friend or family member who has been approved as a foster carer. In whatever form it takes, it’s an important and valuable route to settled, permanent care for many children.

Despite this, two reports published in late 2019 highlighted the issues facing those who provide kinship care.  The Family Rights Group published their report ‘The highs and lows of kinship care’ sharing the experiences of more than 800 kinship carers, as well as the charity Grandparents Plus publishing its ‘State of the Nation 2019 Survey Report’.
More than a thousand carers responded to this survey. The survey questions focused on the point at which friends or family become kinship carers. The findings vividly describe the uncertainty, confusion and a general lack of support felt by many new kinship carers. This is despite the vast majority of carers (75%) stating that professionals outside of the family asked them to take on the responsibility. This was often at a time of crisis.

Family for Every Child explores this critical issue in the new report, The Paradox of Kinship Care.
This report examines the growing use of kinship care, including it’s value and support needs for safe and effective use. The report argues that there is an urgent need to increase support to children living with relatives or friends of their family, with key recommendations made for national governments, donors and UN agencies.

Read the full report here