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Working with kinship carers to build services together

14th July 2022
How we’re shaping the new peer support service for kinship carers and what are the next steps.

Steering Group Insight

Our Steering Group has met for the second time, providing us with crucial advice, guidance and governance as we develop the service. Some of the insights we have gathered from them are:

It is important to remember that sibling kinship carers are often younger than other kinship carers, and are at the start of their education and career journeys. They’ve made a huge commitment, which often interrupts their own personal dreams and ambitions. So it’s important think about how being a volunteer might give them recognition and build skills and qualifications they can put on their CVs.

Lorna Stabler

For the Queen’s Jubilee, as a group of kinship carers we participated in an African drumming session. At our Chill and Chat Kinship Carers Support Groups, it’s crucial that culture comes through strongly. That is how we have grown, and African Caribbean kinship carers have heard about us and are willing to travel to our group because they want to find other kinship carers like them.

Sharon McPherson

Applications are open!

We are now open for Support Group Leader volunteer applications and there are other  opportunities to get involved and help us to support kinship carers.

Continued funding success

We’ve been informed by the Department for Education that our service will be resourced for a second year, taking us to December 2023. We’re delighted with this news, which will enable us to provide even more groups and services for kinship carers. Earlier this year there was an Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, which included a recommendation that Kinship’s Peer-to-Peer Support Service should be expanded further and faster. You can read more about the review here. 

What’s next for the peer support service?

During July and August we will be training our first 20+ volunteers, so together we can lay the foundations for new support groups from September.

We will be ramping up our local outreach, meeting local organisations and kinship carers to build relationships and explore the possibilities for peer support groups in every region in England.

We’ve got plans to run some online events for kinship carers in September.  More details to follow.

Our first two free online workshops are up and running, with many more in the pipeline for development and testing with kinship carers.

If you’re a kinship carer, read more about how you can get involved.

And if you’re a local authority and you want to support kinship carers in your area, find out more.