We’re excited to launch our 2022 survey of financial allowances for kinship carers.
This year’s survey will help us learn more about how kinship carers are being financially supported across England and Wales and the impact this has on family life. In the context of a spiraling cost of living, the responses we receive will be instrumental in supporting our campaign for fair financial support for all kinship carers.
It follows the incredible response to our first survey last year which heard from nearly 2000 kinship carers raising over 2,800 children. We found that 82% of kinship carers had worried about their financial situation in the past year, and 76% of those who received an allowance felt it did not allow them to meet the needs of the children they cared for.
The survey is confidential, takes around 10 minutes to complete, and will remain open until midnight on Monday 21st March. We’re incredibly grateful to all of those who are able to complete the survey and share it with their friends, family, colleagues, and networks.
Why we’re campaigning for fair financial support
When kinship carers step up to raise children, they also take on the full financial responsibility of the children they care for. The impact of the lack of financial support is that kinship carers, who have done the right thing in stepping up to care for children, are plunged into poverty.
“The biggest challenge I faced when I took in my kinship children was financial. I had to take unpaid parental leave and I wasn’t entitled to benefits as the children’s parents were still claiming them. I had lost my salary and I had no money coming in. We were a family of three that became a family of six…… I even lost out on a promotion as the local authority advised I stayed home to make sure the children were settled.”Aunt and kinship carer supported by Kinship.
Kinship carers are more likely to be older, in poorer health, insecurely housed, socially isolated, and living in poverty than any other parenting group. Taking on the role commonly restricts their ability to work. There is a lack of clarity and consistency about financial support and allowances for raising kinship children, with rules and policies varying from place to place. This results in people in similar situations receiving different levels of financial support based on where they live and the child’s legal status, rather on the needs of the children, which is unfair.
It’s vital that all kinship families get the financial support they need for children to grow up with stability and security. The results from our survey will help us better understand the impact of poor support for kinship carers and their children, supporting our policy and campaigns activity across England and Wales.
If you’re a kinship carer looking for advice or support, find out more about how we can help. You can also join our Kinship Community to keep up-to-date on our pioneering research into kinship care and learn about how to get involved.