Sibling carers

Sibling carers are family and friends carers who are bringing up younger brothers and sisters. We carried out groundbreaking research into sibling carers, Big Bruv, Little Sis, which showed that:

  • Sibling carers experience age discrimination, by not being taken seriously on account of being young.
  • Some were very overcrowded at home, and juggling college or work commitments with being a sibling carer, but they still struggled to get the support they needed from Children’s Services.
  • Despite the difficulties, the sibling carers we interviewed were highly committed, and motivated by wanting to keep their little brothers and sister from going into care.

You can read this fascinating insight into the lives of sibling carers and the children they are raising by ordering a copy from our on-line bookshop, or following the links below to download the different chapters of the study.

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.

Big Bruv Little Sis

Research findings on sibling carers raising their younger sisters and brothers

Editor: Ashley C; Authors: Roth D, Lindley B, Ashley C

Foreword: By Rt Hon Alan Johnston MP

Chapter 1: Introduction and acknowledgements

Chapter 2: Legal framework for sibling carers

Chapter 3: Research on the views and experiences of sibling carers and the children they are raising

Chapter 4: Key messages from international literature

Chapter 5: Report recommendations

Since we published this research, an analysis of the 2001 census (Nandy et al (2011) Spotlight on Kinship Care, University of Bristol) has shown that 38% of all children living with family and friends carers were being brought up by an older sibling. This is far more than anyone had suspected, and shows how important it is that young people who take on the task of bringing up their siblings should get the recognition, respect and support that they deserve.