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Sibling Carers

Sibling carers are kinship carers who are bringing up their younger brothers and sisters.

An analysis of the 2011 census (Wijedasa, 2017) found that sibling carers are more likely than grandparents and ‘other relatives to be raising two or more children in their household.

The analysis broke down sibling care across the four UK nations.

23%

of all children being raised in kinship care in England were being brought up by older siblings.

31%

of all children being raised in kinship care in Northern Ireland were being brought up by older siblings.

19%

of all children being raised in kinship care in Wales were being brought up by older siblings.

8%

of all children being raised in kinship care in Scotland were being brought up by older siblings.

Family Rights Group carried out ground-breaking research into sibling carers.

The final report ‘Big Bruv, Little Sis’, concluded that:

  • Sibling carers experience age discrimination, by not being taken seriously on account of them being young.
  • Some were living in very overcrowded housing, and juggling college or work commitments with being a sibling carer, but still struggled to get the support from children’s services.
  • The sibling carers who we interviewed were highly committed, and motivated by wanting to keep their little brothers and sister from going into care.

Drawing on the stories of twelve sibling carers, as well as an internet survey and an international literature review, we made recommendations which aim to make sure that these undervalued carers and the children they are raising get the support they need.

Copies of this fascinating insight into the lives of sibling carers and the children they are raising are available from our on-line bookshop.

You can also follow the links below to download different chapters of the report:

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