Kinship Carers Are Being Let Down, Research Suggests

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Grandparents and other family members who care for children when their parents are no longer able, are being let down, research from the University of Worcester suggests.

Initial findings of the research project, exploring the parenting needs of kinship carers, shows that many carers feel “a strong sense of injustice” and misunderstood by agencies and the general public.

There are estimated to be around 250,000 children living with family or friends in situations where they are unable to live with either of their parents for whatever reason. Those caring for them are known as kinship carers.

The research, from University of Worcester Early Childhood Lecturers, Alison Prowle and Niki Stobbs, calls for further development of support networks and mentors for kinship carers.

The report states: “From a kinship carer perspective, there is a real belief that their needs and circumstances are not widely known and understood, particularly by the agencies they need to work with in order to ensure good outcomes for the children and themselves. Studies show that this leads to resentment and a strong sense of injustice at the lack of perceived reward for their role, compared to the perceived reward of others.”

The University, in collaboration with the charity Kinship Carers UK, will be hosting a seminar on Friday, November 27th for those working with children and families in this situation.

There will be a presentation by Enza Smith, from Kinship Carers UK, and her grandson, Bradley, who will talk about kinship carers from a child’s perspective. The research will then also be presented.