Family and friends care and parental substance misuse

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Grandparents Plus
Grandparents Plus
Date of publication
1 January 2011
Policy briefing paper: 04
Families, Children and Young People, Substance Misuse
Social welfare
Material type

Download (112KB )

Parental drug or alcohol abuse is leading to around 140,000 children in the UK being raised by grandparents and other family and friends carers. Grandparents and other family and friends carers who have stepped in to bring up children are struggling financially and report high levels of stress. At the same time, they report very high levels of dissatisfaction with the support they receive from children’s social services. This briefing makes recommendations including:

  • The introduction of a national allowance for family and friends carers who look after a child for more than 28 days.
  • Better access to services for them and for the children they are looking after including respite care, peer support groups and family group conferencing.
  • A period of paid leave equivalent to adoption leave when they take on the care of a child. This would give them time to manage the upheaval in their lives whilst keeping their job and would reduce the number who feel they have to give up work.

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