Publications and Reports

Grandparents Plus published regular research on issues affecting grandparents and kinship carers in the UK. We often partnership with renowned academics to produce high quality research. We have a varied range of national and European statistics on grandparents.
This page lists all of our publications and reports.


son-webKinship Care: State of the Nation 2016

The report is based on the largest ever national survey of kinship carers. It explores the experiences of kinship families and draws comparison with findings from our 2010 survey What if we said no?



Survey_Findings_Report-2014-Cover (2)Disadvantage, discrimination, resilience: the lives of kinship families

A new survey which reveals for the first time the extent of the discrimination and stigma that kinship carers experience as a result of raising a relative’s child.



grandparenting in Europe 14 webGrandparenting in Europe
The health and wellbeing of grandparents caring for grandchildren: The role of cumulative advantage/disadvantage

This study explores the relationship between grandparents role in providing childcare and health and wellbeing over time using pan European longitudinal data.



guide2The Kinship Care Guide for England – First Edition

The Kinship Care Guide for England is a vital resource written for grandparents and other family and friends (kinship) carers who are raising children who can not live with their parents. It is also designed to be useful for social workers and others who work with special guardians, family and friends foster carers and other kinship carers.



Forgotten ChildrenForgotten Children

Forgotten Children provides new evidence of the high numbers of children in kinship carer not getting the support they need from children’s services. The report is based on a survey of 310 grandparents and other kinship carers who are members of Grandparents Plus Grandparents Plus Support Network and includes 420 children.

Forgotten Children finds almost half (44%) of children growing up with grandparents and other family members have never received help from children’s services, even though they may have suffered parental abuse or neglect or the death of a parent. The research also finds that 54% of children in kinship care have special needs or a disability. But only 8% of the grandparents have received counselling or help with parenting, and just one in 20 have had access to respite care.

45% of the children are living with grandparents and other family members because they have previously suffered abuse or neglect, amounting to 135,000 children across the UK. 44% have suffered parental drug or alcohol abuse and. 11% have experienced the death of a parent.



Grandparenting in Europe: family policy and grandparents’ role in providing childcare

Funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Grandparents Plus has been working in partnership with the Beth Johnson Foundation and with the Institute of Gerontology at Kings College London to explore grandparenting in Europe.

The report shows that over 40% of grandparents in 12 European countries studied provide child care. This major new research shows a direct relationship between grandparents caring and the availability of affordable formal childcare and support for parents.

It points to an emerging childcare crisis as the very grandmothers who are providing care are being expected by governments to stay in work longer.



Giving up the day job?

The report Giving Up the Day Job?, provides new evidence of high numbers of kinship carers falling out of the labour market when they take on the care of children. The report is based on a survey of 263 grandparents and other kinship carers who are members of Grandparents Plus Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Network.

Almost half (47%) of grandparents and other family (kinship) carers who were previously working gave up their jobs to care for children, many of whom have emotional difficulties and would be in local authority care had their relative not stepped in. An estimated 60,000 grandparents have dropped out of the labour market to bring up their grandchildren only to face a lack of recognition and support from Government.  The carers often have to rely on benefits as most do not receive any allowances from their local authority.



 2010 report 80x113Grandparenting in Europe

This report reviews existing research findings on the role of grandparents in family life across Europe and the US, especially in relation to childcare, and highlights examples of public policies aimed at supporting grandparents. Please add in a short reference on this page:  eg. Read the findings of our scoping study exploring existing research and highlighting example of pro grandparent policies here.



Doing it all? Grandparents, childcare and Employment: Analysis of British Social Attitudes Survey Data from 1998 and 2009.

This report presents new data from the BSA 1998 and 2009 to look at the role grandparents play in providing childcare, and how grandparenting has changed over the past decade.  It finds that grandparents play a vital role in providing childcare, with nearly two thirds of all grandparents with grandchildren under 16 looking after them, and one in five grandmothers providing at least 10 hours a week of childcare.  Increases in the state pension mean that grandmothers are under growing pressure to combine childcare with work. An ageing population is likely to increase the number of grandparents with older relatives needing help.  One of the consequences of these pressures may be more mothers giving  up work because grandmothers are no longer available to provide childcare.



‘Too old to care?’

Too old to care? the experiences of older grandparents raising their grandchildren is based on in depth interviews and a focus group with 18 grandparent carers aged over 65. The report highlights the challenges older carers face, including isolation, discrimination and poverty. Often they are managing very difficult relationships with the children’s parents.  Most of the grandparents have limiting health conditions and many are providing care and support for an adult relative or partner. Many say they have asked for help from children’s services but not received what they needed .  Others avoid contact because they fear the children they are looking after will be taken away.

Despite the challenges, they are able to provide children with love, stability and continuity of family relationships. The report concludes that more tailored support is needed for older carers that they can access from trusted sources, including from voluntary organisations, children’s centres and schools.



‘What if we said no?’

‘What if we said no?’ is a report of a survey of over 250 members of our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Network.  It shows that many family and friends carers are living on low incomes and are particularly vulnerable to welfare reform and spending cuts. They are also more likely to be in poor health and almost half are caring for a child with a disability or special needs. Many of the children have experienced problems at school.

The survey is the basis for the launch of a new Grandparents Plus campaign. Find out more here.



Protect Support Provide

Grandparents Plus and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have been exploring the connection between older people’s poverty and child poverty around grandparental care.  We have found that grandparents are risking hardship themselves in order to provide care and support for their families.  The final report focuses on families who are particularly at risk of poverty; single parent families, families with disabled children and/or disabled parents, black and minority ethnic families, and those where grandparents are raising their grandchildren. The report and executive summary can be downloaded below together with a copy of Grandparents Plus’ policy response.

You can also read the EHRC policy response here.



Recognition, Respect, Reward

Between July – September 2009 Grandparents Plus interviewed 100 members of our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Network.  The results show that many are living on or below the poverty line feeling unsupported and struggling to cope.  The children they care for are more likely than children in the wider population to have emotional or behavioural problems, special educational needs or a disability.



My second mum and dad

The involvement of grandparents in the lives of teenage grandchildren.
This unique research presents the views of a representative sample of over 1500 teenagers on their relationships with their grandparents.  It reveals just how important grandparents are to them, the role they play and the difference they make in their lives.



The Poor Relation

Grandparents Plus has been funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to explore where older people’s poverty and child poverty meet around grandparental care. The interim report of this project includes an analysis of British Social Attitudes Survey data from 1998–2007, was published in June 2009 and can be downloaded below.



Rethinking Family Life

In March 2009 Grandparents Plus published a report Rethinking Family Life: exploring the role of grandparents and the wider family. Download a copy of the report below.



Care Matters 2007

Grandparents Plus response to Care Matters 2007 can be downloaded below. Grandparents Plus also contributed to the Kinship Care Alliance response, co-ordinated by Family Rights Group, also available for download below.



Learning with Grandparents

Funded by the Basic Skills Agency, Grandparents Plus produced good practice cards aimed at grandparents to assist them to support their grandchildren with literacy and numeracy. There is also a leaflet for schools and a report of the project. See below for downloads.



Forgotten Families

Forgotten Families, a joint report by Grandparents Plus and Adfam is based on a literature review and consultation with grandparents raising grandchildren as a result of drug and alcohol abuse in the family. Often isolated and stigmatised many of these grandparents face stress and financial hardship. The report highlights the specific difficulties grandparents in this situation encounter particularly when trying to find appropriate help and support. See below for downloads of the full report and the executive summary.


The Grandparents’ Association Publications

Children's voices webChildren’s Voices
The stories of children raised by their grandparents



grandparents voices webGrandparents’ Voices
A research study of the views of grandparents who face up to challenging family situations



Being a grandparent webBeing a Grandparent
Research evidence, key themes and policy recommendations



Does Grandad know who I am webDoes Grandad know who I am?
Grandparents with dementia and their grandchildren



nuclear webBeyond the Nuclear: including the wider family