Kinship carers

Posted on March 26th, 2024

Kinship care (also known as family and friends care and/or connected person care) is when a child lives with a relative, or a close family friend, usually because their parents are not able to look after them. With more than 180,000 children in the UK currently in kinship care arrangements, it is important for employers to understand the challenges faced by kinship carers and to provide a supportive workplace environment.

On 15 December 2023, the DfE published comprehensive guidance for employers. The guidance:

  • Sets out what kinship care is.
  • Explains the existing statutory entitlements available to kinship carers.
  • Outlines strategies for fostering kinship-friendly workplaces.

In March, a debate on the Kinship Care Strategy took place in the House of Commons. During this session, MPs raised questions about the possibility of statutory leave for kinship carers. In response, David Johnston MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education, acknowledged the challenges kinship carers face when balancing their caregiving responsibilities with workplace commitments. He indicated that the government will ‘continue to explore what [it] can do’ with regards to statutory leave.

In conclusion, employers play an important role in creating inclusive workplaces that accommodate the needs of kinship carers. By following the guidance provided by the DfE Kinship carers in the workplace: guidance for employers, employers can contribute positively to the wellbeing of both employees and those children living in kinship care.

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