Most children whose parents are unable to look after them are being brought up by relatives or friends in kinship care, many of whom have a Special Guardianship Order and are known as special guardians. Grandparents Plus welcomes the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory report: Special guardianship: a review of the evidence, which recognises the benefits of kinship care and calls for the support of special guardians on a par with fostering and adoption.
Grandparents plus believes that kinship care should be recognised and that support should be based on need not legal order. While we welcome recommendations to develop and extend support for special guardians, this should be extended to all kinship families.
Through its pioneering kinship care support programme – Kinship Connected, Grandparents Plus, run in 26 local authorities, already offers one-to-one support for over 1,000 kinship carers as well as many more through peer support groups. Our aim is to extend this programme across all local authorities so that there is parity in the support offered to all kinship carers across the country.
With support from partners such as Nesta and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and sharing our learnings with the Department for Education, Grandparents Plus is bringing practical, impactful solutions, designed with kinship carers, to bring about better support for all kinship carers.