Family first: prioritising support to kinship carers, especially older carers is the fourth in EveryChildof papers promoting positive care choices for children living without parental care. It is produced jointly with HelpAge International.
This paper finds that most kinship care arrangements are informal and therefore children and their carers may be missing out on social protection and benefits. Older carers may find it difficult to support children financially. While many kinship carers do their best, children, especially girls, may be exposed to discrimination and abuse. It demonstrates how recognising the value of kinship care, and addressing the challenges faced by children and carers, is likely to lead to a range of positive outcomes, including improved education and child protection, and better physical health and psychosocial well-being for older persons.
The prevalence of kinship care means that this issue is not just of concern for those with a narrow alternative care or child protection remit, but also requires commitments from agencies working in health, social protection, justice and education to ensure that the needs of children in kinship care and their carers are met.
For more information about the Positive care choices series, click here.