Understanding family and friends care: the relationship between need, support and legal status - carers' experiences

The project aimed to address the following questions:

1. How and why do children end up in kinship placements under different legal statuses?
2. Is decision-making child-centred and needsbased or influenced primarily by other factors, such as local authority policies and practice or the child’s route to placement?
3. Are carers able to make informed decisions about the placement’s legal status?
4. How does placement support relate to a) legal status b) the needs of the child and carer?
5. How difficult is it for carers to obtain appropriate support?
6. What is the impact of support or its absence, on the placement?
7. What changes in law, policy and practice are needed?

There are three main elements in the research, the first part of which is reported here:
1. Face to face interviews with carers in 95 households
2. A national survey of carers
3. Interviews with key professionals.

Joan Hunt
Suzette Waterhouse
Family Rights Group