Understanding the Differences in Rates of Kinship Care (Online)

What Works for Children's Social Care

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, published in May 2022, places a strong emphasis on kinship care, calling for “far greater recognition and support” for kinship carers as well as several other recommendations to improve outcomes for children and families in kinship care. The recently introduced Kinship Care Bill also calls for improved support for kinship carers. Despite this growing awareness of the need to improve support for kinship carers, there is still much that is unknown about how kinship care is used and the support which kinship carers receive.

WWCSC’s research has recently revealed a high degree of variation in the use of kinship care across England, ranging from 4% to 39% across local authorities and we are currently working to understand the reasons behind this variation.

This event will provide an opportunity to explore the causes of variation in rates of kinship care, the challenges facing kinship carers, and the support which they receive. We will hear from a range of speakers, including from WWCSC, who will reflect on the current issues in kinship care and discuss how we can improve our understanding of the causes of variation in kinship care rates. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions of the panel. 


10:00 – Welcome & introduction

Aoife O’Higgins – Director of Research, WWCSC

10:10 – Trends in the regional variation of kinship care

Eva Schoenwald – Senior Researcher, WWCSC

10:30 – How do the courts impact rates of special guardianship?

Prof Judith Harwin – Professor in Socio-Legal Studies, Lancaster University

10:50 – Managing risk in kinship care

Ann Horne – Kinship Consultant, CoramBAAF

11:10 – Break

11:20 – The challenges facing kinship carers

Sharon McPherson – Co-Founder, Families in Harmony

11:40 – What support do kinship carers need?

Sam Turner – Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Kinship

12:00 – Break

12:10 – Panel Q&A

12:35 – Summary & close

Aoife O’Higgins – Director of Research, WWCSC

12:45 – Finish