Grandparent carers struggling below the poverty line
By Ross Watson
Children & Young People Now
27 October 2009
More than one in three grandparent carers looking after children are living below the poverty line, according to research from Grandparents Plus.
The study is based on interviews with 100 family and friends carers, the majority of whom are grandparents.
According to the findings, 38 per cent of carers are on an income of less than £200 a week. The study also reveals that two-thirds of carers had not received any support from social services.
Of those who had, three-quarters were dissatisfied with the services they received. One in five carers also stated that they currently receive no benefits or allowances.
"We can now see very clearly the intolerable stress and poverty that grandparents who step in to bring up their grandchildren face every day of their lives," said Grandparents Plus chief executive Sam Smethers.
"If the children they care for were in foster care they would each cost the taxpayer £40,000 per year. A small amount of support for family and friends carers would be cost-effective, keeping children out of the care system."