One in 77 children in the UK are being raised by family members because their parents are unable to care for them, according to children’s charity Buttle UK.
The vast majority of these arrangements – 90% – are informal , according to the study, called Spotlight on Kinship Care.
Poverty was a common issue throughout arrangements profiled in the study. Researchers found that in England, one in five children lived in a household where no adult was working. Three-quarters of children in kinship care in Scotland were living with two or more forms of deprivation such as overcrowded conditions or in a home where no one was working.
Dr Julie Selwyn, director of the Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies and co-author of the report, said: “This study shows, for the first time, the level of poverty and disadvantage in kinship families.
“If the government is going to meet its targets to reduce child poverty, children in kinship care need to be recognised as a group with specific and considerable needs. This information will provide a much better basis for planning policy and services than anything previously.”
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