Family and friends carers (also known as kinship carers)

It is estimated that 200-300,000 children in the United Kingdom who cannot live with their parents are being brought up by grandparents, older siblings or other wider family members or friends. This may be because of parental mental or physical ill health, domestic abuse, divorce or separation, alcohol or substance misuse, imprisonment or bereavement.

Key facts

Children raised by family and friends carers feel loved and secure and report high levels of satisfaction;

Family and friends placements offer more stability than unrelated care;

Family and friends carers show a high level of commitment;

The children have experienced similar adversities to those in the care system but they and their carers received much less support;

Many family and friends carers live in impoverished circumstances, which impacts on the children,

For example:

3 out 4 of such carers experience severe financial hardship;

49% of kinship carers had to give up work permanently to raise the children.

“I lost my job as a direct result of having time off to attend court, care for the baby and attend his hospital appointments etc. My husband took redundancy and we had to sell our home and most of the furniture in order to pay the legal costs and fund a move of over 350 miles away to ensure the safety of our grandson...”

Many such carers face crippling legal costs to secure the child’s future;

8 out 10 people agree that family and friends carers should receive financial support.

Famous people raised by family and friends carers

To name but a few ...President Barack Obama, Morgan Freeman, Naomi Campbell. Who else? Click here to find out...