The great majority of kinship carers feel they did not have sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision when taking on the role, a charity has claimed.
Kinship carers look after children unable to live with their parents, and as the term implies, such people are normally extended family members. In a newly published report, the Family Rights Group polled carers via online survey and telephone about their experiences.
A hefty majority – no less than 80 per cent – said they taken on the role without being fully informed of the legal complexities and support available. Others reported employment issues: just under half – 49 per cent – said they had had to give up work permanently to care for the child, while 18 per cent had done so temporarily.
Close to a quarter – 22 per cent – of the kinship carers surveyed said they had three or more children in their homes.
The Family Rights Group called on the government to fund a requirement that local authorities properly assess the suitability of all proposed kinship care arrangements, unless the situation in question is classed as an emergency. The government should also fund independent legal advice for potential kinship carers, the charity insisted.
The report – entitled Doing the right thing: A report on the experiences of kinship carers – is available here.
Photo by Till Westermayer via Flickr