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Time To Define Kinship Care

Published: 12th April 2022

4 minute read

Time to define is a proposal from Family Rights Group for a clear and simple legal framework for kinship care. We are calling for a single definition of kinship care to be written into legislation and guaranteed support for kinship carers and their children. 

Kinship carers are family and friends, who are raising children who are unable to live with their parents. Such situations often arise as a result of tragedy or trauma. But there is no single definition of kinship care in legislation. As a result, the child’s carer can face many challenges including not being recognised by hospital services or schools. Many carers are also currently entitled to little or no support for the child and themselves, especially if they have stepped in during an emergency. 

Without an agreed definition, kinship carers can quickly run into a myriad of confusion and misunderstanding says Family Rights Group’s Principal Legal Adviser, Caroline Lynch.At the very moment when the child they are caring for needs stability and support, kinship carers find they are having to constantly explain who they are and what they need. 

Family Rights Group is proposing a universal definition of kinship care be written into primary legislation which would encompass the different types of kinship care arrangement. Meeting the definition would then automatically passport kinship carers and their children to entitlement to a minimum level of support and services. 

Read our full proposal

The proposal has been informed by the views of thousands of kinship carers including members of our kinship carers’ panel and those who contact our specialist national advice service every year. It has also been influenced by research, and the policy and practice insights of Family Rights Group and other members of the Kinship Care Alliance. We are grateful to all who have influenced the thinking behind these proposals.


How you can help support the Time to Define Kinship Care campaign:

  • Share the proposal on social media using the hashtag #TimeToDefine and tag us in @familyrightsgp
  • Endorse the campaign either individually or as an organisation by completing the form below
  • Write to your Member of Parliament or your local lead councillor for children’s services, and ask them to support the campaign
  • Consider how your local authority or organisation can implement any of the recommendations in our proposal

I/we endorse Family Rights Group’s Time to Define Kinship Care campaign:

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