Kinship Care Week 2023
Published: 5th September 2023
4 minute read
It is estimated that 200,000 children in the United Kingdom who cannot live with their parents are being brought up by grandparents, older siblings or other wider family members or friends. These family and friends carers are also known as kinship carers.
There are many benefits to kinship care, including better outcomes for children compared to other children in the care system, the kinship carers’ dedication and love for their children, and the fact that children in kinship care can maintain ties with their family networks, improving their sense of identity and belonging.
However, many kinship carers face unique challenges while caring for their children. Three out of four kinship carers experience severe financial hardship, with half of kinship carers having to give up work to raise their children, many of whom require a lot of love and support due to the adversities they have faced. Many carers also go through stressful and expensive legal proceedings to secure their child’s future in their care.
- Start a conversation with a friend, family member or co-worker about kinship care over a cuppa. Maybe they or someone they know was raised in kinship care but never realised – this is a common occurrence!
- Holding a kinship care support group meeting during #KinshipCareWeek and having a tea party
- Setting up a new kinship care support group
- Inviting new carers to your kinship care support group
- Letting people know its #KinshipCareWeek on your social media channels and ask them to do one thing to support kinship carers
- Sharing details of kinship care support services in your areas via your social media
- Sharing information about local kinship carer support services in local libraries, local authority websites and newsletters, and local media
- Sharing information about Kinship Care Week activities with your local media with a photo
- Talking to the media about your support services and the difference they make
- Writing a piece about kinship care and support services for a local media outlet
At Family Rights Group, it is our mission to ensure the child welfare and family justice systems support children to live safely and thrive within their family. Together with other organisations, we are part of the Kinship Care Alliance which lobbies for greater rights and support for kinship carers at Westminster, Cardiff, and in local councils.
2023 has been a big year for kinship care. In January, the Government put improved support at the heart of their new strategy on children’s social care after extensive lobbying by Family Rights Group alongside kinship carers. This paid off with the announcement of increased investment in training and support groups for kinship carers and the creation of the first national kinship care strategy, to be released by the end of the year. Now we are determined to ensure that the strategy is ambitious and well-funded enough to make a real difference to kinship families.
- Share our Six Tests campaign on social media, which aims to make sure the Government’s national strategy delivers high quality support for kinship carers.
- Advocate for our #TimeToDefine and #SameLoveSameLeave campaigns which seek to strengthen kinship carers’ entitlements to support in law.
If you are a councillor:
- Consider joining our Councillor’s Network which plays a key role in coordinating support for kinship carers and children across the country.
- Take a look at our model motion on kinship care and table it at an upcoming council meeting.
If you’re a practitioner:
- Look into whether your organisation can establish a local peer-to-peer support group and ensure kinship carers are routinely signposted to such groups.
- Consider whether your local authority could establish a family group conference service to ensure a child’s wider family can take a lead in decisions about their welfare, including putting themselves forward as potential kinship carers. There is more information on our kinship care consultancy page.
- Make sure prospective and current kinship carers know they can access Family Rights Group’s free, specialist advice service at www.frg.org.uk/get-help-and-advice or on 0808 801 0366 between 9.30am and 3.00pm Monday to Friday.