The Duchess of Cambridge unveiled findings of the biggest ever UK study on the early years, in a milestone moment for her work on the importance of early childhood in shaping the rest of our lives and broader societal outcomes.
In response to this Lucy Peake, Chief Executive of kinship care charity Grandparents Plus said:
“We welcome The Duchess of Cambridge’s speech, in which she calls for more investment in a child’s ‘crucial first five years’.
“We see every day through our work with kinship carers, how the impact of trauma in children’s early years can affect them for many years. Often grandparents or other family members have stepped in to raise a relative’s child because of parental drug or alcohol misuse, poor mental health, domestic abuse or when a parent dies.
“Yet our survey found 86% of kinship carers are struggling to get the support they need for their children (Grandparents Plus 2018).
“We also hear from kinship carers that lockdown has taken a huge psychological toll, and in our latest survey 32% reported feeling alone during the lockdown, 26% cited children’s behaviour as a real concern. At the same time, half say the pandemic has had a negative impact on their children, and 24% of kinship carers said they were worried they will be unable to cope with a second lockdown.
“There is an urgent need to improve support for kinship care families. Currently, they are overlooked and poorly supported by public authorities and this is putting more children at risk of entering the care system or struggling with the consequences of their early experiences as they get older.
“We believe more investment in children’s services and especially in support for kinship carers will mean more children will be able to grow up within their extended family rather than the care system. This will lead to better outcomes for children and families, and benefits for society and the economy in the long-term.
Find out more about the key insights found in the study here.
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Cover photo source: Royal Foundation