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I’m a kinship carer

Helping you to build strong local kinship communities and to access advice, information and support.

What are we doing?

You’ve told us that you want more access to advice and information. You want to meet other kinship carers like you and share your experiences with people who understand.

Over the next 12 months, we’ll be building on all the work we’ve already done together to develop more support groups. To give you one website to come to see if there’s a group where you live. To give you free workshops about the things that matter to you – like managing contact or understanding trauma and attachment.

Kinship carers supporting kinship carers through peer support.

Find out more

What is peer support?

Peer support is where you share your stories and experience with people who are in the same boat. You’re building a connection and a relationship to support each other – through the good times and the not so good.

If you’re a kinship carer we know that your experience can be a roller coaster. We also know that you become a kinship carer out of love.

Right now, there are over 140 groups of kinship carers across England meeting and sharing their stories. 

Together with you, we want to set up another 100. And our focus will be where the need is most.

We also want you to be able to access support from other kinship carers through online chat. Because sometimes you just want someone to listen – right now.

So we’re asking you to become part of this game changing service. This is your peer support service – for every kinship carer in England.

And if you’re already a Support Group Leader of a kinship peer support group, we’ll be able to support you with free workshops and advice.



Meet Joy, one of our many incredible volunteers. She shares why peer support is so important for kinship carers.

Could you set up a peer support group?

We have several volunteer roles for kinship carers as part of this service. A key role is becoming a Peer Support Group Leader.

We’ll give you training and support for this role and all the others. You’ll also need to make sure you’re in the right place to volunteer. Because we know it can be a big commitment. Both in time and energy. And we know you have a lot on your plate already.

We know how rewarding it is to be a kinship carer.  We also know how difficult it can be – supporting your family and finding time to support others.  

But we know that when kinship carers come together, they create a powerful community. So we want to support you to create these communities in your local area.

You can get involved as much as you want or as little.

We want you, as a kinship carer, to be able to find our services easily and get more support. And be in control of the decisions being made about you.

Build your kinship community, your way.

Find out more

Three ways to get involved

1. Set up a local peer support group

We want to support kinship carers to set up their own peer support groups where they live. It will be your support group, so it needs to meet your needs. We’ll help you do that.
Set up a support group

2. Support other kinship carers

We have lots of other ways you can use your experience as a kinship carer to help other kinship carers. From becoming a Someone Like Me volunteer, to helping out on our new online chat service.
Find out how to volunteer

3. Join the Kinship Community

Signing up to our community means you’ll receive helpful information and invitations to events that will help you in your role as a kinship carer.
Sign-up to the Kinship Community

Other questions:

As we start this service, we’ll make sure that we answer any questions that you might have and add them to this section.

I already run a kinship carer peer support group – what does that mean for us?

A big thank you for already committing your time and helping other kinship carers.

The new service will support you to access more information and support for your group. You’ll also be able to access free online training and workshops.

As we develop the service, we want to also hear your voices and experiences.  And we’ll ask you to tell us what you need.

You can sign up for more information. 

Or you can join one of our upcoming events and find out more. 

I just want to be kept up to date about the Peer-to-Peer Support Service. I don’t want to volunteer.

If you want to hear more about our new service and you’re a kinship carer, join our Kinship Community.

We’ll send updates about what we’re doing.  As well as helpful information or event invites that will help you in your role as a kinship carer.

Sign-up to the Kinship Community

 

What if I’m a kinship carer in Wales?

At the moment this peer-to-peer support service is only funded in England.

However, on our Kinship website, you can see if there is a support group already set up where you live in Wales.

Find support groups in Wales

What if I’m a kinship carer in Scotland or Northern Ireland?

If you’re a kinship carer in Scotland, please visit https://kinship.scot/ for advice, information and support.

If you’re a kinship carer in Northern Ireland you can talk to https://kinshipcareni.com/

How are you involving kinship carers in creating this service?

We’ve been helping kinship carers to set up their own groups since 2012. Everything we do is in consultation with you.

We used all the feedback we already had from thousands of kinship carers to create what we thought the service could look like. Then we took it back out to kinship carers to check that it matched with what they wanted.  And it did. Kinship carers from across England helped to shape the key elements through focus groups, surveys and one-to-one feedback.

Kinship carers have also helped us to recruit our staff and have been interviewing our new team.

But we know that things change, so we have a National Steering Group with kinship carers represented across England, who will give us honest advice and feedback.

And as we start to work on all parts of the service, we’ll keep going back to you to make sure we’re getting it right.

 

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We can advise anyone who is caring for a relative or friend’s child full time, and anyone thinking about becoming a kinship carer. Our advisers are friendly, impartial, non-judgemental and the service is confidential.
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