We want to hear from you about being a kinship carer in 2019!

Our yearly State of the Nation survey helps give us a better picture of what it's like to be a kinship carer and to gather evidence of where more support and understanding is needed. This helps us to develop services to better support kinship carers as well as raise awareness of kinship care in the media and among decision makers and drive change. 

This year our survey focuses on the experience of first becoming a kinship carer. We'd love to hear from you about your own circumstances, the difficulties you faced and what you'd like to see improved for kinship carers when they first take on the role. With the results of this survey, we aim to build a clear sense of the complexity and challenges of kinship care and use this understanding to fight for better support for kinship carers.

This survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Please give as much detail as possible so we can better understand your experiences as a kinship carer.

Thank you!

Section one: How you became a kinship carer

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* 1. How many kinship children are you bringing up?

From this section to the end of section four, please answer the questions thinking about the first child (or children) you cared for. If you have subsequently taken in other children we would love to hear about this later on in the survey.

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* 2. What is your relationship to the children you are bringing up?

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* 3. How long have you been caring for the child / children?

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* 4. What was the main reason the child / children were unable to live with their parents? (Please identify one reason)

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* 5. What other reasons meant the child / children were unable to live with their parents?  (Please tick all that apply)

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* 6. Did anyone ask you to look after the child / children when you first took on their full time care?

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* 7. If yes, who contacted you?

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* 8. Were Children's Services / the Local Authority involved with the child / children before you took on their full time care?

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* 9. If yes, in what way were they involved? (please tick all that apply)

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* 10. If yes, what did Children's Services / the Local Authority say the alternative care arrangements would be if you didn't take care of the child / children?

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* 11. When you first took on the full time care of the child / children were they in the care of the Local Authority?

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* 12. Has the child / children ever been in foster or residential care?

Section two: Preparing to become a kinship carer

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* 13. How much notice did you have before becoming a kinship carer

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* 14. Did you attend a preparation group or training with your Local Authority before becoming a kinship carer?

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* 15. Thinking back to when you first became a kinship carer what were the biggest immediate challenges?

Section three: Your kinship care arrangements

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* 16. What was the first legal order you obtained for the child / children you are raising?

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* 17. Which options were you aware of when you took this order? (Please tick all that apply)

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* 18. Did you get independent advice about your options?

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* 19. Did you feel well informed about your options?

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* 20. Did you feel any pressure when deciding which option to take?

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* 21. At the time you took on the order was the family and friends policy (the guidance used by Local Authorities for the provision of support to kinship carers) clearly explained to you by any of the following? (please tick all that apply)

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* 22. Do you know how to contact local authority lead responsible for implementing the family and friends policy?

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* 23. Did Children's Services signpost you to the following:

  Yes No
Independent advice
Peer support
Support groups
Legal advice

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* 24. Did you understand the needs of the child / children?

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* 25. Did you understand what your needs as a kinship carer would be?

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* 26. Was there a support plan put in place that addressed:

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* 27. If you had a support plan, how regularly was it reviewed?

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* 28. Looking back, given your experiences since first looking after the child / children, did you feel the support plan met your needs?

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* 29. Were you offered a financial allowance?

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* 30. If you were offered a financial allowance was the following explained? (Please tick all that apply)

  Yes No
If the allowance would be means tested
If the allowance would be subject to review
Whether there were any time limits
Whether any savings or investment (including home ownership) may limit the support you receive

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* 31. If you could change the type of order you have, would you?

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* 32. If you are now a kinship carer to more children, please tell us how your experience differed on each occasion

Section four: How could your experience be improved?

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* 33. What advice and information do you think is needed but is currently not being provided for people when they first become kinship carers?

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* 34. How do you think the process could be improved?

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* 35. If you were asked by a new kinship carer for advice about their kinship care arrangements what would you tell them?

Section five: Support for you
Please let us know if you agree with the following statements:

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* 36. I got the advice and information I needed when the child / children first moved in

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* 37. I got the financial support I needed when the child / children first moved in

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* 38. I got the emotional support I needed when the child / children first moved in

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* 39. I am getting the advice and information I need now

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* 40. I am getting the financial support I need now

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* 41. I am getting the emotional support I need now

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* 42. Where do you currently get support? (please tick all that apply)

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* 43. Have you benefited from any of the following for yourself?  (Please tick all that apply)

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* 44. Do you have any other children or grandchildren?

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* 45. If yes, how has your kinship role impacted your relationship with them?

Section six: Your contact with Grandparents Plus

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* 46. When did you first become involved with Grandparents Plus?

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* 47. How did you hear about Grandparents Plus

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* 48. Which of the following Grandparents Plus services have you used? (Please tick all that apply)

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* 49. In the past year have you...? (Please tick all that apply)

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* 50. How likely is it that you would recommend Grandparents Plus to a friend in a similar situation?

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* 51. What's the one thing you would change about kinship care in the future?

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* 52. How positive do you feel about your role as a kinship carer?

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* 53. We know being a kinship carer can be challenging but we'd love to hear about the good stuff too! Please tell us your favourite thing about being a kinship carer here

Section seven: Your details
Grandparents Plus is committed to making only responsible use of your data. By agreeing to our data protection policy you give consent for us to keep you up to date on our news, events, campaigns and resources by email, direct mail and telephone. We will not share your data with any 3rd parties. For further details you can view our privacy policy at https://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/privacy-policy

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* 54. Please tick the box if you are happy for us to contact you

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* 55. Where do you live?

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* 56. Please select your age

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* 57. Are you

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* 58. What is your religion?

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* 59. What is your ethnic background?

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* 60. Are you

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* 61. What is your relationship status?

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* 62. Please use this box to add anything else you want to tell us about your experiences as a kinship carer

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* 63. Are you willing to share your story? (We are always looking for people willing to talk to the media or attend and contribute at meetings and conferences, we will check with you before all requests and talk through what would be involved)

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* 64. If you aren't already, would you like to become a member of the Grandparents Plus Network?

If you have said that you would like to join the network, are willing to be share your story, or would like to enter our prize draw to win a £50 voucher of your choice, please provide your details below. Please note, you do not have to agree to be contacted, you can choose to remain anonymous.

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* 65. Contact information

Thank you for your time!

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