Family Rights Group Publications and Reports

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

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.

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.
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Doing the right thing: A report on the experiences of kinship carers
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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.
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Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A good practice guide
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Developed by Family Rights Group in partnership with an expert working group. 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.
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Understanding Family and friends care studies: the relationship between need, support and legal status (Summary)
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Hunt J and Waterhouse S. 2012

In depth interviews with 95 households - the “interviewed carers”. (FRG/Oxford University Centre for Family Law and Policy).
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Understanding family and friends care: analysis of a population study
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Aziz R and Roth D. 2012

Analysis of Government’s “Understanding Society” carers survey of 77 kinship care children living in 68 households, contrasting them with other families from the same study.
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Understanding family and friends care: local authority policies – the good, the bad and the non existent
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Ashley C Ed. Authors Aziz R, Roth D and Lindley B. 2012

Based on a Freedom of Information questionnaire sent in October 2011 and analysed in partnership with Grandparents Plus. Find out whether your authority has published a policy
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Understanding family and friends care: The largest UK survey
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Ashley C Ed. Authors Aziz R, Roth D and Lindley B. 2012

Survey of 493 carers raising 762 kinship children.
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What happens to siblings in the care system?
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By Ashley C, Roth D Family Rights Group. 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.

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Big Bruv Little Sis
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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.
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Getting Together
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Richards A. 2004

A Guide To Setting Up And Running A Support Group examines how to set up and run local groups for family and friends carers who are raising children who cannot live with their parents.
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Growing Up In Care
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Doolan M, Nixon P and Lawrence P. 2004

Growing Up in the Care of Relatives or Friends sets out research findings from two local authorities that consulted extensively with children, carers and social workers about ‘what works’.
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It’s just not fair: Support, need and legal status in family and friends care
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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.
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Managing Contact
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Editor: Ashley C; Authors: Roth D, Lindley B, Ashley C. 2011

Research findings on managing contact with parents and relatives for children living in family and friends care arrangements.
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Relative Poverty: Study of Family and Friends Care in London
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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.
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Special Guardianship
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Jordan L and Lindley B. Contributors include: Lady Justice Hale and Sir James Munby. 2006

The Reader analyses Special Guardianship provisions and explores its potential use in meeting children’s needs when they cannot return home.
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Understanding Family and friends care studies: the relationship between need, support and legal status
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Hunt J and Waterhouse S. 2012

In depth interviews with 95 households - the “interviewed carers”. (FRG/Oxford University Centre for Family Law and Policy).
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Wider Family Matters
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Roskill C. 2007

A Guide for Family and Friends Raising Children Who Cannot Live With Their Parents.
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FGCs - Where Next?
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Ashley C and Nixon P. 2007

Contributors address the use of family group conferences in different circumstances, including child welfare, education, domestic violence and youth justice from a research, policy and practice perspective.
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The FGC Toolkit
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Editor: Ashley C. Authors: Ashley C, Holton L, Horan H and Wiffin J. 2006. Pub. DfES, The Welsh Assembly Government and FRG

A practical guide for setting up and running a family group conference service.
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Young parents’ involvement In the child welfare system
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Editor: Ashley C; Author: Lynch C. 2017

The Young Parents Project builds upon the work and structures of the Alliance and began in June 2015. Its focus is young parents aged up to 30 years, whose children are, or have been, subject to intervention by children's services. The project has engaged parents whose children have been supported as children in need, deemed at risk or placed in care or adopted.
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