This chapter examines kinship carers’ own children’s experiences of the kinship care arrangement (also known as family and friends care), drawing on research with kinship care families involving interviews with carers, carers’ own children and placed children, and interviews with social workers. The data show the complexity of kinship family life for kinship carers’ own children. Social workers’ normalization of kinship care through the use of pro-family rhetoric is contested by the voices and experiences of some kinship carers’ own children, for whom the emotional and behavioural difficulties displayed by placed children and the adjustments required of them altered the dynamics of their family life and impacted upon their emotional well-being. The placement of children in kinship care, an option assumed by social workers to be ‘normal’ and ‘natural’, disrupted some kinship carers’ own children’s everyday lived experiences in nuanced ways not discussed in social work discourses, and which raise questions regarding whether the placement of known or related children into an established family, may in turn sometimes create a troubled family.
Cooper, K. (2013). Revealing the lived reality of kinship care through children and young people’s narratives: "It’s not all nice, it’s not all easy-going, it’s a difficult journey to go on". In J. R. McCarthy, C. Hooper, & V. Gillies (Eds.), Family troubles?: Exploring changes and challenges in the family lives of children and young people (119-129). Bristol: Policy Press. https://doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781447304432.003.0010