of kinship carers feel proud of their role
of kinship carers say the child they are raising in kinship care feels positive about the arrangement
of kinship carers feel confident to tell people about their role
of kinship carers feel that people don’t understand what kinship care is
of kinship carers aren’t receiving sufficient advice, information, and support
of kinship carers have struggled to manage through the Covid-19 pandemic
of kinship carers are confident in their ability to parent
of kinship carers are worried they will not be able to cope with a second lockdown
Grandparents Plus annual survey of kinship carers shows that kinship carers have been left struggling without the support and advice they need to keep their families together.
82% lack the professional support and information they need from local authorities
This is despite many of these families raising children who have suffered trauma and 30% diagnosed with additional needs.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, this lack of formal support puts even more pressure on already vulnerable families.
70% of respondents found managing during the crisis difficult or very difficult
51% saying their children had also struggled.
24% say they are worried they will be unable to cope with a second lockdown.
Becoming a kinship carer also has a significant impact on people’s lives
82% said that they miss aspects of their lives before they took on the care of the children.
How do kinship carers feel the wider community views them?
89% of kinship carers feel confident to tell people about their role.
71% feel that people don’t understand what kinship care is.
67% also said they feel that people make judgements about their situation.
At a time when more children are coming into care, it is a positive alternative to other forms of care
97% of carers feel the child has settled well or very well into their family.
91% feel the child they are raising feels positive or mostly positive about the arrangement.
But kinship carers, who want to do their part, must have the support they need when they need it, to ensure the longer-term benefits we know kinship care offers.
What needs to change
The findings from our survey highlights most kinship carers continue to feel they do not receive adequate support from their local authorities. Grandparents Plus is calling for all kinship carers to be adequately supported and recommend the following:
A Kinship Care Act – kinship care must be recognised in law to ensure all kinship carers and the children they care for have access to the support and information they need when they need it.
Local authorities must do more to support kinship carers in their areas – this is especially urgent given the impact Covid-19 is having on kinship families.
Specialist and independent advice be universally available to kinship carers – to ensure they are made aware of their rights as soon as possible. They need access to free, independent legal advice in order to make informed decisions about the care arrangements they make for the child.
Comprehensive support to be universally available to kinship carers – specific to the needs of every kinship family as soon as they begin looking after the child. Carers should also be able to access peer support in the areas where they live.
Financial support to be universally available – with a national minimum allowance to cover the costs of bringing up a child in kinship care and exemption from the benefits cap.
A better understanding of kinship care among professionals and wider society – to ensure kinship carers feel valued for the important role they take on and the sacrifices they make.
A greater voice for kinship carers – Kinship carers’ experiences should be at the heart of all decisions made about them. Their experiences should also be a foundation for any services offered to them.
About Grandparents Plus
Grandparents Plus is the kinship care charity. We give kinship care families life-changing information, advice and support when they have nowhere else to turn. We are here for them from the beginning – to help them navigate a complex system, and for as long as they need us. We reduce isolation by connecting kinship carers via our friendly online community and support groups and we fight for kinship carers to be recognised and valued for the vital role they play in children’s lives and society – and for that to be underpinned by legislation, policy and practice.