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Kinship charity urges government to give kinship carers paid leave on par with adoptive parents

Kinship has released a new report highlighting that more than eight in 10 kinship carers (86%) are either forced out of the workforce or to reduce their hours when they take on the care of a child, plunging kinship families into poverty and leading to significant additional costs to the state.

The new figures show that a lack of employment support is forcing a significant number of kinship carers to stop working in order to provide care for the children they step up to raise. This often leaves kinship families in significant financial hardship.

The charity is calling on the Government to equalise paid leave between kinship families and adoptive families, as one of a number of urgent measures to improve support for kinship families.

Kinship CEO, Lucy Peake said ‘“These findings show the sharp contrast between workplace support given to adopters and parents, and that which is available to kinship carers.

“Time and time again, kinship carers tell us that they have been pushed out of jobs and plunged into poverty, because they stepped up to care for a child who was in need of a stable home.

“The Government needs to introduce a legal requirement for all kinship carers to have the same access to paid leave and other workplace entitlements as parents and adopters. This would alleviate some of the extreme financial hardship kinship families are facing, helping to keep vulnerable children within loving homes and out of the care system. It would also give these children, who have experienced trauma and loss, time to settle into their new homes.

“We are also encouraging employers to consider the needs of kinship carers alongside others who have parental responsibilities, in their family friendly policies. We are developing a ‘Kinship Friendly Employers’ initiative to encourage and support organisations across England and Wales to start making these changes and I’m delighted at the positive response we’ve already had from a number of pioneering employers.”

Read the full report here.

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Published on 23rd June 2023