Kinship carers need to be used more

Local authorities are missing a chance to ease the foster carer
recruitment crisis by overlooking relatives and carers, a report
published this week reveals.

The research, by the Children and Families Research Unit at De
Montfort University in Leicester, says the lower uptake of kinship
care in the UK is down in part to the views of children and young
people being ignored.

Past research has shown that, although children can often name a
relative or someone known to them who could offer foster care,
social workers may be unaware of this.

The report also finds that how a relative is used often depends on
chance, such as whether a grandmother happens to be present when
her grandchild is taken into care.

It reports favourable feedback of kinship arrangements from
children, and recommends that kinship carers should not be treated
any less favourably than stranger foster carers in terms of social
work support and financial assistance.

– Family Problems, Family Solutions: Kinship Care and Children
in Need
from 0116 207 8731.

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