Research questions

This research aims to answer a range of empirical and policy-related questions.

Empirical questions

  1. What is the distribution of kinship care in the UK? What changes in the kinship population have occurred since 2001?
  2. How do these differences vary by country and local authority in the UK? 
  3. Compared to children living with at least one parent, what are the characteristics of the children and carers in kinship care arrangements, in terms of:
  • The carer’s relationship to the child
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Poverty
  • Deprivation
  1. What are the most important predictors of kinship care? 
  2. Do the characteristics of children differ by carer type and ethnicity, and do these differ by country, region and local authority? (For example, what are the characteristics of kinship families headed by siblings as opposed to grandparents? Are white kinship families any different to black Caribbean or black African kinship families?) 
  3. How many children in 2011 lived in informal kinship care arrangements and how does this compare to 2001? 

Policy related questions

  1. What are the policy implications of the extent and nature of kinship care in the UK?
  2. Do these policy implications differ by each country within the UK?
  3. How does a divergent group of stakeholders view the future of policies and service provision for children in kinship care? 


The study will be conducted in two phases, over three years and will benefit from the continuous involvement of a range of stakeholders, through the establishment of a stakeholder advisory group at the outset of the project. 

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