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Need help and advice

If your family is involved with children's services, or you need help from these services, our interactive web-pages will give you the information you need.

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Blogs and Vlogs

Families' voices and opinions are at the heart of our media. Our blogs and vlogs page features articles and videos by parents, kinship carers and other professionals on subjects of child welfare and more.

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Policy and Campaigns

Read about the Care Crisis Review, our kinship care campaigns, our policy work and download our press releases.

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Supporters Network

By joining the Family Rights Group Supporters’ Network, you agree to make a donation, no matter how big or small, which will make a crucial contribution to our work.

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Publications and Reports

We have published a number of publications and reports on family and friends carers raising children unable to live with their families that you can download for free.

Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A good practice guide
Developed by Family Rights Group in partnership with an expert working group, February 2017

The guide sets out best practice as to how viability assessments should be conducted. It lists what factors social workers conducting the assessment need to consider, including when undertaking assessments with family members overseas. It also includes research evidence, a schedule and example template and an information sheet for a family and friends carers.

It is endorsed by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Family Justice Council and Cafcass.

Doing the right thing: A report on the experiences of kinship carers
By Ashley C, Aziz R and Braun D. October 2015

Family Rights Group's research found that almost half (49%) of kinship carers have had to give up work permanently to care for the kinchild, and a further 18% had to give up work temporarily. Our survey also found that 22% of kinship care households had 3 or more children aged 18 or under. 63% of these households currently receive child tax credit. 34% of these households receive housing benefit.

Could do better... Must do better: A study of family and friends care local authority policies
By Mercer A, Lindley B, Hopkins A, Edited by Ashley C. March 2015

This report is based upon research by Family Rights Group that reveals 26 (17%) of English local authorities, including 30% of London local authorities, are failing to comply with the most basic requirement of statutory guidance issued in 2011, to have a published policy setting out their approach towards promoting and supporting the needs of children living with family and friends carers.

The study analyses 53 family and friends care policies, to identify how they are complying with statutory family and friends care guidance and to highlight good practice. It includes a check list to assist local authorities to develop and improve their policies.

What happens to siblings in the care system?
By Ashley C, Roth D Family Rights Group. January 2015

This report investigates the experience of siblings in the care system. It found that half (49.5%) of all sibling groups in local authority care are split up and that 37% of children in care who have at least one other sibling in care are living with none of their siblings. The research also found that although relatively few looked after children live with kinship foster carers, it appears to be particularly conducive to supporting siblings to be able to live together. The report sets out a series of recommendations to enable more siblings in care to live together, when it is in their welfare interests.

It’s just not fair: Support, need and legal status in family and friends care
Hunt J and Waterhouse S. 2013

This major report reports the findings of a 3 year study on family and friends carers who are raising children unable to live with their parents. Conducted by Joan Hunt from University of Oxford with Family Rights Group and funded by the Big Lottery, the study explores the link between the child’s needs, support and legal status. It finds conclusively that support bears little relationships to need, but is primarily determined by whether a child is in the care system or not, regardless of the difficulties and adversities they may have experienced.

Relative Poverty: Study of Family and Friends Care in London
Roth D, Aziz R, Ashley C and Lindley B. 2013

More children are raised in family and friends care in London (in the main by their grandparents or older siblings when they cannot live with their parents) than in any other region of England or the UK. This is the first study that specifically examines the circumstances of family and friends carers in London, and the children they are raising, including levels of financial and material deprivation. It recommends measures for local and national government to improve policy and practice for these children and carers.

Understanding Family and Friends care studies

Family and friends carers, who are raising some of the nation’s most vulnerable children, are being left to fend for themselves and suffer significant levels of hardship as local authorities fail to implement central government policy, according to major new research we have launched in March 2012.

Big Bruv Little Sis
Editor: Ashley C; Authors: Roth D, Lindley B, Ashley C. 2011

Drawing on the stories of twelve sibling carers, as well as an internet survey and an international literature review, we make recommendations which aim to make sure that these undervalued carers and the children they are raising get the support they need.

Managing contact
Editor: Ashley C; Contributors: Roth D, Tunnard J, Lindley B, De Gaye A, Ashley C. 2011

Research findings on managing contact with parents and relatives for children living in family and friends care arrangements.


Telephone Advice Line

If you are a parent, family member or friend of a child who has social workers involved in your child’s life, or if you need extra support from Children’s Services, call our free and confidential helpline 0808 801 0366 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm).






Discussion Boards

For advice from our advisers, or to get online support from other people in a similar position to you, visit the parents or family and friends carers forums. To explore new research and to discuss ideas with practitioners and families, visit the FGC Network forum.




We have answered the most commonly asked questions put to FRG advisers. Please follow the links to see a list of questions and answers, grouped together by subject.



Advice Sheets

For more detailed information, please see our range of advice sheets on family support, child protection, looked after children, family and friends care, adoption or challenging decisions.




Family Rights Group has produced films for families to help ‘demystify’ the child welfare system. View fictionalised cases which show what happens when a child protection conference is held and similarly when a family group takes place.


Four day virtual family group conference training for new co-ordinators

A virtual course for those with some knowledge of family group conferencing and child care planning processes who wish to increase their understanding and necessary skills to co-ordinate a family group conference. We have various dates in 2021.

Find out more and book your place here.

Survey of kinship carers during Covid-19

Are you a kinship carer? We are running a survey on behalf of the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care, to hear how kinship carers are coping during the latest lockdown and what actions would improve the situation for kinship families.

Fill in the survey here

Delivering good practice initial assessments of family and friends carers in the context of Covid-19

A new appendix to the existing good practice guide for practitioners assessing whether a family member or friend might be a potentially realistic option to be a carer for a child who cannot live safely with their parents.

Read the appendix here.

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