Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Kinship care treated like the ‘Cinderella’ of permanence options, warns charity chief

Family Rights Group compared plight of kinship carers to government focus on adoption in impassioned debate at Community Care Live

Kinship care is treated as the “Cinderella permanence option”, the chief executive of the Family Rights Group has warned.

Cathy Ashley compared the plight of kinship carers to the government’s focus on adoption, in an impassioned debate at Community Care Live this week.

“What I do challenge is why children with almost identical needs and prior experiences don’t get access to that same care. Kinship care is treated as the ‘Cinderella’ permanence option,” she said.

‘National scandal’

Ashley argued that children who are adopted and children placed in kinship care often have the same needs, but the level of support on offer to kinship carers is a “scandal”.

Ashley added: “Most councillors are alert to adoption and fostering, they may not know all of their responsibilities, but they are aware they are a corporate parent. But how many have read their kinship care policy?

“How many even know if their authority has a kinship care policy? In the last five years we’ve seen no secretary of state make a speech about kinship care. Compare that to the number of times that adoption has been mentioned,” she said.

Adoption debate

In an event billed as ‘The Great Adoption Debate’, Ashley spoke alongside Sir Martin Narey, chair of the Adoption Leadership Board, on whether the government’s adoption reform agenda has overshadowed kinship care.

Narey said the reform programme was “well overdue” and rescued from demise “something that was not just declining but almost disappearing as an option for children”.

He said the programme had rejuvenated adoption, increased the number of adoptions and provided better support for adopters.

But Ashley highlighted that while councils must have an adoption support group, kinship groups are “very thin on the ground”.

She warned nearly a fifth (18%) of English local authorities do not have a family and friends carer policy, “four years after it became a statutory requirement”.


Kinship carers have been “desperate” for help, Ashley said, and she compared funding for kinship care with the £150m adoption reform grant, and the £19.3m adoption support fund.

“That’s why I do feel really passionate when you compare that to what investment has been going around in adoption. They are the same children, and we need to level the playing field.

“Rather than focus on whether the drive for adoption has overshadowed kinship care in the past, I hope that what we can do now is unite in acknowledging the campaign to improve the support system for children in kinship care in the future,” Ashley said.

Story courtesy of Community Care

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

New Deprivation of Liberty court launch for children


A National Deprivation of Liberty Court dealing specifically with applications relating to deprive children of their liberty has been announced by Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division.

The court will deal with applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty and will be based at the Royal Courts of Justice under the [...]

Read Full Story

Independent review into CSE in Oldham finds child protection procedures were not followed


Some children have been failed by the agencies that were meant to protect them because child protection procedures had not been properly followed, an independent assurance review into historic child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Oldham has found.

Evidence of poor practice was attributed to a structural flaw the review team found in the multi-agency system [...]

Read Full Story

Sixty Second Interview with Chloe Bach


Find out more about our Business Administrator Chloe Bach who has been with WillisPalmer since 2009.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee (oat milk latte)

What 3 things would you put in Room 101?

Migraines, slugs and war

What is your favourite place in the world?

Wherever my family is (but I do love New York)

If you were on death row what [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram