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Kinship care in crisis, finds Grandparents Plus

State of the Nation Survey 2019 published

A State of the Nation Survey Report by Grandparents Plus finds that kinship care is in a state of crisis.

Over 1,100 kinship carers took part in the survey, the results of which, says Grandparents Plus, highlight the chaos and confusion that are often experienced by new kinship carers at the time they take on the responsibility for children. This is compounded by a lack of support and independent advice which means many kinship carers, under a great deal of pressure, risk being penalised for stepping in to keep their families together.

The charity concludes that, as in previous years, many carers are not receiving the support they need for children to thrive.

Key findings include:

According to the survey, despite children's services involvement, many kinship carers step in quickly in a climate of crisis and fear, with little time or access to independent information and advice, or support to consider their options. Only later do they realise that support is determined by the child's legal order – it is usually discretionary and it can be means tested, time limited or cut for good.

Other findings are:

For the full report, including the charity's recommendations for policy and practice, click here.