Little is known about the experiences, and therefore needs of sibling kinship carers, or how to address them. Very few studies have been conducted in the UK focusing specifically on sibling kinship carers despite estimates from the UK Census in 2001 and 2011 of this group constituting between 20%-40% of all kinship carers (Selwyn & Nandy, 2012; Wijedasa, 2015). One qualitative study with sibling carers (n=12) (Roth, Lindley, & Ashley, 2011) found that this group faced many difficulties such as threats of homelessness, overcrowding, and poverty. They reported that, as siblings are often younger than other potential carers, agencies questioned their capability to parent, and did not give them support, advice, or information.
The aims of the PhD are to understand the experienced of sibling-headed kinship families and identify pathways to improving outcomes indicated as important by carers and children. It will address the following three research questions
1. What are the experiences of sibling-headed kinship families of kinship care (formal and informal)?
2. What are important outcomes for sibling carers (e.g. wellbeing) and how do these relate to outcomes for children in their care?
3. What are the mechanisms through which these outcomes can be addressed?