Approximately one in ten children around the world live in kinship care. This form of care is both the most widely used and the most valued option for children who cannot be cared for by their parents. Yet it is also neglected by policymakers and practitioners, placing children at great risk.
Kinship caregivers are often expected to look after children with no or minimal support, and greater emphasis is placed by many governments on more formalised forms of care outside of children’s families. The failure to support kinship care exposes already highly vulnerable children to further risk, including mental health problems, poverty, discrimination and exploitation.
It's these issues that show why more research and prioritisation, as well as support to kinship families, is needed. This is why we have launched this community of practice to support practitioners to raise awareness of the issues associated with kinship care; share knowledge; help evidence the benefits; and solve problems by further identifying support needs and how we can overcome challenges.
Share and access knowledge by joining our Kinship Care community of practice. In this group you can post and contribute to discussions; access online events, and add your resources and experiences. You can always access the group from the kinship care dashboard.
We're calling on governments to:
1) Invest in Kinship Care Research - In order to better understand kinship care in their county and learn what's needed to support kinship care families
2) Prioritise Kinship care in decision-making - Make sure that children who cannot be cared for by their parents have the chance to be cared for by their extended family first;
3) Provide support to kinship care families - develop a package of psychosocial, financial, educational and child protection services and support and make it available to those who need it.