Research that was published earlier this year shows that there are far more children being brought up by their older brothers and sisters than anyone had previously thought.
Bristol University and Buttle UK did an analysis of the 2001 census, to find out how many children in the UK are being brought up by relatives. The figure they reached was 173,200, and the numbers had gone up a lot since the previous census 10 years earlier. Even this figure is probably too low, as it does not include children being grought up by friends, or children being brought up by grandparents where their parents are still in the home. You can read the report here: http://www.buttleuk.org/pages/kinship-care-report-june-2011.html
One of the major surprises of this study was the number of sibling carers: 38% or more than one in three of all family and friends placements was found to be with an older sibling. Family Rights Group's own study of sibling carers, Big Bruv, Little Sis found that a lot of sibling carers were not getting the support they need from children's services, and many were not known to them (read it here: http://www.frg.org.uk/involving-families/family-and-friends-carers/sibling-carers). It would seem that there are many sibling care arrangements that are just not known to the local authorities and the social care agencies.
What are your thoughts about this?
If you are a sibling carer, have you found it difficult to get the support you need?
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