Fostering in England 2020 – 2021 reveals that over the last few years there has been an increased reliance on family and friends to raise children.
As of 31 March 2021, 27% of local authority fostering households had family and friends care (kinship care) as their primary placement offer, an increase of 7% from 2015 – 2016. Also, 66% of newly approved local authority fostering households were classed as kinship care. Many more kinship carers are caring for children under Special Guardianship Orders and informal arrangements.
Lucy Peake, Kinship CEO, commented: “It is becoming increasingly urgent that government recognises and values this significant part of the care system. More children leave care every year on a special guardianship order (kinship care) than an adoption order. We need better data to understand the number and needs of kinship children. It is critical that all kinship carers have access to the right financial, emotional and practical support to give them the best possible chance of keeping children in loving, stable and permanent homes, where outcomes for children are better than in the care system.”