Kinship care: state of the nation 2016.

Document type
Gautier, Agnes; Welland, Sarah; Workman, Ryan
Grandparents Plus
Date of publication
1 December 2016
Families, Older Adults
Social welfare
Material type

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This report surveys the reasons why children are raised by grandparents and other relatives instead of their parents. It finds that:


  •  parental drug or alcohol misuse is the most common reason children are unable to live
    with their parents;
  •  41% of kinship carers are looking after two or more children;
  •  at £16,000, the average annual household income of kinship families is well below the national average;
  • there is a rise in the proportion receiving an allowance from their local authority (58% compared to 33%), likely linked to the rise in the use of Special Guardianship Orders (50%, compared to 20% in 2010) as opposed to Child Arrangements Orders (formerly Residence Orders) to formalise kinship care arrangements, and 
  • 62% of kinship carers did not feel well supported at the time of taking on the care of the children.
    The authors propose measures to remedy these circumstances and provide more social and economic support for the families affected.

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