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Posted by on in Children & Child Custody
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Research reveals prevalence of kinship care

A recent study has revealed that around 173,200 children across the UK are being raised by a relative instead of by their mother or father. This equates to around one in every 77 children in the UK. These figures are based on data from the 2001 census, and researchers believe the numbers are likely to have increased significantly since then.


The research, which was carried out by children’s charity Buttle UK and the University of Bristol, has shown that kinship care is more prevalent in cities, and in the poorest areas of the country. Around 90% of existing kinship care arrangements are informal, and as such the carers are not eligible to receive any financial support from social services.


The study also found that in England:


  • Older children, particularly those aged 15-17, were most likely to be raised by relatives.
  • Almost half were living with grandparents, of which a quarter were over 65 years-old.
  • A third of children were being brought up by an older sister or brother.
  • Most sibling carers were sisters, single in their early 30s, caring for other children and one in five sibling carers lived in overcrowded conditions.
  • In the UK 29% of children growing up with their parents experienced multiple deprivation but the majority (71%) of children in kinship care children did so.
  • Children of minority ethnic backgrounds were over-represented in the kinship population in all regions; in England, one in 11 of all African boys aged 15-17 were living with relatives.