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Same Love, Same Leave: Helping kinship carers remain in work

Published: 24th May 2023

5 minute read

Same Love, Same Leave is a campaign by Family Rights Group to introduce a right to paid employment leave and protection for kinship carers.

Half of kinship carers have to give up their jobs to provide care for their children, many of whom have complex needs. With so many losing out on needed income, many kinship carers become dependent on welfare benefits. It’s no wonder that 3 out of 4 kinship carers say becoming a kinship carer has caused them severe financial hardship. 

Like adopters, kinship carers provide love and support to children who cannot remain at home. Yet their workplace rights differ, and kinship families suffer as a result. This is why kinship carers, who often step up in times of crisis and support a child to remain safely in their family, need the right to paid employment leave and protection akin to adoption leave. A policy supported by 8 in 10 of the public when polled. 

What is kinship care?

Thousands of family and friends step in every year to raise children who are unable to live with their parents. Such situations often arise out of tragedy or trauma. Often the children would otherwise live with strangers in the care system.

Kinship care can take different forms including kinship foster care, special guardianship, child arrangements orders, private fostering or private family arrangements.

There is no single definition of kinship care written into law.

Towards a kinship-friendly workplace

Government and employers can act today to ensure that kinship carers are supported in the workplace. We have a three-step plan that would help all kinship carers who want to to stay in work.

  1. National government must legislate for a universal definition of kinship care, so that no kinship family is left out.
  2. National government should introduce a legal right to paid employment leave and protection, akin to adoption leave, for all kinship carers.
  3. National government, local government, and employers should develop kinship-friendly employment policies. Government and public agencies should model good practice and encourage a ‘race to the top’ among employers.

Read our full proposals

We have worked with kinship carers on Family Rights Group’s panel to develop this campaign, building on work with the Kinship Care Alliance.

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A carer’s perspective

We know from listening to the lived experience of kinship carers that a lack of support to remain in work can be devastating.

Family Rights Group’s kinship carers’ panel member quote
Unfortunately, Clare’s experience is not uncommon – taking on the care of a child unexpectedly can be expensive and disruptive.

If Government adopt the proposals of our Same Love Same Leave campaign, kinship carers like Clare will be supported to remain in work while stepping up for their children.

Support our campaign:

  1. Sign up using the form below
  2. Share the campaign on social media using the graphics below, with the tag #SameLoveSameLeave
  3. Write to your MP using this template letter

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Paid employment leave and protection for kinship carers

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Paid employment leave and protection for kinship carers

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