Today NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) has launched the first report in the new research series, ‘This is My Home’.

The series will look at the experiences of growing up in different types of care across England and Wales through sharing the opinions of care-experienced children and young people who have lived in kinship care, residential care, foster care or been adopted. The aim of the research series is to provide a space for the voices and experiences of all care-experienced children and young people to be heard.


What is kinship care?

The first report launched today (5th October 2023) ‘“Don’t Forget About Me”, Growing up in Kinship Care’, focuses on the experiences of children and young people who have grown up in kinship care.

Kinship care is a type of care where children live with a family member or friends instead of living in foster placements or residential care homes. Kinship care arrangements that have involved a local authority are referred to ‘formal’ arrangements and those without local authority involvement are ‘informal’ arrangements.

It is estimated that in England and Wales, there are 162,000 children living in kinship care. However, as official data is only available for formal kinship arrangements, the number of children and young people living in all types of kinship care arrangements is unknown.


Postcode Lottery of Support

There is currently no statutory definition of kinship care in England or Wales which reflects all the different types of kinship care arrangements. This often means that not all kinship families are recognised as kinship carers, and this can prevent both the child and carers receiving appropriate support.



In England and Wales, statutory financial support is only available for kinship foster carers. This means that for carers in other kinships arrangements, the financial support available will vary dependent on a family’s local authority. The charity Kinship found in their 2021 annual survey that in England and Wales, 89% of kinship carers could not afford household items and 33% were concerned that their financial situation could result in them no longer being able to care for their children.


The Future of Kinship Care

In England, the Care Review Implementation Strategy has committed to publishing a Kinship Care Strategy by the end of 2023 and will explore the case for extending statutory financial entitlements for kinship carers.

In Wales, the Deputy Minister of Social Services, Julie Morgan, has recently acknowledged in a Senedd debate that kinship care needs improving “irrespective of the legal status of an arrangement”. A Special Guardianship Expert Group has been set up in Wales to review what support is available for all kinship families.


What NYAS recommends

To improve kinship care, NYAS is urging the UK and Welsh Governments to:

  • Collect and publish data on number of children living in all types of kinship care as part of their annual data reports.  
  • Give all kinship carers the same financial entitlements as foster carers. 
  • Give all kinship carers the same employment leave entitlements as adoptive parents. 
  • Make sure children living kinship care are aware of their rights and can access advocacy support. 

Most importantly, NYAS wants all children and young people living in kinship care to be aware of their rights, how to access support and who they who they can speak when they need support.



To find out more about kinship care, visit the website Kinship.

”Don’t Forget About Me”, Growing up in Kinship Care’ is available to read in English and Welsh.