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”.

‘Desperate’

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.

30% hike in calls to ChildLine about sexuality during pandemic as young people cut off from support networks

23/06/2021

There has been a 29% increase in the number of young people speaking to ChildLine advisers about sexuality and ‘coming out’, the helpline has revealed.

More than 5,000 counselling sessions were delivered by ChildLine in the last year on the subject of sexuality and gender identity issues – with the rise in young people talking [...]

Read Full Story

Care Review needs to avoid a ‘blame culture’ around social workers

23/06/2021

The Independent Review into Children’s Social Care needs to avoid reiterating a government ‘blame culture’ and negative narratives around the social work profession.

The British Association of Social Workers has responded to the Case for Change published by the independent review and highlights that social workers have tirelessly worked pre and during the pandemic to [...]

Read Full Story

Inspectorates warn children at Rainsbrook were at risk of harm

22/06/2021

Children held at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre were placed at risk of harm as a result of serious and widespread failings at the centre, a joint inspection by Ofsted, The Care Commission and HMI Prisons has found.

The joint report comes after the Lord Chancellor Lord Buckland announced last week that all children were [...]

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
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

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

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