Across the country, it is estimated that between 200,000 and 300,000 grandparents and other family members are raising children who cannot live with their parents, often because of very difficult family circumstances. It may be because of abuse or neglect, parental illness or disability, drug or alcohol misuse, imprisonment, domestic violence or relationship breakdown.
Kinship carers – sometimes known as family and friends carers – can face huge difficulties including poverty, lack of support and feelings of stress, isolation and stigma. The children they are raising may have experienced trauma, or have emotional problems or special needs. Many would be in care if their grandparent, relative or family friend had not stepped in.
Grandparents Plus runs a FREE Support Network for members of the wider family who are raising a relative’s child. Our growing and influential Network reaches around 7,000 kinship carers across the country so click here for more information and to join.
Our Family and Friends Advice Line is able to offer comprehensive advice on welfare benefits and a wide range of other issues. Call our trained advisers on 0300 123 7015 between 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday.
We also produce The Kinship Care Guide for England which is a vital resource written for grandparents and other family members who are raising a relative’s child. It is also designed to be useful for social workers and others who work with kinship carers.