Kinship care must be recognised in law.

Current inequality in the support available to kinship carers can impact everything from the financial and practical support they can expect to receive, to school choice and access to funding for specific therapies for children who have suffered trauma.

Central government must invest at all levels to ensure local authorities and the voluntary sector have the resources to support kinship families. There is national guidance - the Statutory Guidance for Family and Friends Care - but it is interpreted and implemented differently in each local authority. Legislation is needed to ensure that kinship care is recognised in law and there must be immediate investment to ensure local authorities are funded to give kinship carers the support they need.

Compared to children in local authority care, children in kinship care are likely to remain with their carer as they grow up, and their stability contributes to better outcomes for them. They are more likely to remain for longer in one home and change school less. Kinship carers also have higher aspirations for the children they raise and all of these things result in better educational outcomes for young people.

This in turn can mean longer-term benefits such as reduced homelessness, crime, anti-social behavior and better health – all substantial cost savings to the state longer term. (Sebba et al 2015.)

Stable kinship care families mean fewer children going into state care. However, given the multiple challenges that kinship carers face, they can’t do it without consistent support.

If you want to get involved in campaigning for change on this, or any other issue, please contact [email protected]