Family and friends care
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Kinship care training and consultancy service: Improving outcomes for vulnerable children and saving money
We know that local authorities are under huge financial pressure. Our training and consultancy service can support you to secure the best possible outcomes for children and young people, using a sound evidence base and will reduce pressures on budgets (particularly the looked after children budget).
As the leading experts nationally in kinship care (aka family and friends care) we will work with you to develop system, policy and service improvements to enable more children, who cannot remain with their parents, to live safely and thrive within their wider family network.
Improving outcomes for vulnerable children by enabling and supporting more children, who cannot live with their parents, to be raised safely within their wider family.
The research evidence is that most children raised by kinship carers are doing significantly better than children in unrelated care – in particular they feel more secure and have fewer emotional and behavioural difficulties and are also doing better academically. This is despite children in kinship care having suffered similar adverse experiences in the past to those living with unrelated carers in the care system and they and their carers often receiving little or no support.
Directing resources more effectively and saving money.
There are costs in developing an effective kinship care service in which children and their kinship carers get the help they need. However, there is evidence that these are far outweighed by the savings to the looked after children and associated budgets.
Respecting right to family life and fair process, whilst avoiding unnecessary delay.
We will assist you to ensure that you have in place approaches, such as family group conference and assessment tools that enable you to explore realistic kinship care options earlier, prior to a child becoming looked after, and ensure that you have complied with recent legal judgements should the case need to progress to court.
Family Rights Group has been working in the child welfare and safeguarding area for the past 40 years. We have extensive experience of working with families to achieve the best outcomes for children. All our work is based upon promoting practice that is evidence based, focuses upon the welfare of the child and respects and values families.
We are the leading experts on Kinship Care.
We undertake direct specialist work with families through our Advice and Advocacy Service staffed by highly skilled social workers, lawyers and advocates. Each year we advise more than 2000 kinship carers, including grandparents and older siblings, and wider family members considering taking on the care of a child who is unable to live with their parents. We also have extensive information for practitioners and kinship carers on our website.
We have pioneered family group conferences in England and Wales and have helped local authorities to establish family group conferencs services. We have led nationally on the development of quality standards for family group conference services and run the National Family Group Conference Network.
We develop projects of national significance, and pioneer research into kinship care, such as the experiences of sibling carers. We collaborate with academics, such as Professor Joan Hunt and have published a major study on the link between need, support and legal status of children in kinship care. We lead the policy and campaign work of the Kinship Care Alliance and worked closely with government on the development of statutory guidance on family and friends care. We are supporting the development of Your Family, Your Voice – an Alliance of families and practitioners working to transform the system.
We set up kinship care support groups and run fun days for children in kinship care. Our team comprises social work, legal, policy and strategic business development experts and a wider pool of associates to draw upon.
- Awareness training events for practitioners including specific groups of professionals so that they become familiar with kinship care, including the law, research and effective policies and practices.
- Training and, if required, tailored consultancy to improve the way social workers undertake assessments of kinship carers, including potential special guardians, so the process is respectful, legally compliant and effective. We can also train fostering panels on understanding connected persons arrangements and making robust recommendations in relation to connected person fostering placements and assessments.
- Help to set up, commission or develop your family group conference service, train family group conference co-ordinators and assist you so that your family group conference service meets national accreditation standards and can demonstrate its impact.
- Bespoke consultancy support to help you to audit, review and improve your kinship policies, procedures and services including your Family and Friends Care Policy (a legal requirement from September 2011) and special guardianship support services.
- Bespoke consultancy support and training for senior managers and team leaders to develop and support the implementation of an action plan that promotes good practice on kinship care, and where appropriate new ways of working and reprioritisation of budgets, making use of findings from internal audits and/or Ofsted inspections.
- Advanced legal and practice training to social workers, including child protection conference chairs and independent reviewing officers so they are conversant with recent changes in case law and guidance and their specific responsibilities.
- Support to set up parents and kinship carers panels to ensure that your policies, practices and approach reflect local needs, circumstances and experiences.
- Help to set up peer support groups for kinship carers in your area and for the children they are raising.