WHO ARE KINSHIP CARERS?
Kinship carers are people raising relatives or friends’ children who would otherwise need to enter the care system. Since Special Guardianship Orders were introduced in 2005, Local Authorities have increasingly chosen to place children with friends and family as an alternative to adoption and long term fostering. Kinship care has now become the main route out of care for children in England, overtaking adoption. There are approximately 200,000 kinship families in the UK, though the actual number is likely to be much higher.
Despite the growing number of officially recognized kinship families, this has not gone hand in hand with increased levels of support. Kinship carers are expected to parent traumatized children with little or no preparation or support, and often have no access to the services that are normally available to foster carers and adopters. Recent data indicates that Covid-19 has disproportionately affected kinship carers; most have been unable to shield, even when vulnerable, and they have not been prioritized in vaccination and other support programs.
Kinship Hub is a social enterprise seeking to redress the imbalance in services provided to kinship carers across the UK.
Our main aims are:
Providing access to training and support around specialist topics in relation to kinship care
Reducing social isolation and improving the mental health of kinship carers
Addressing food poverty experienced by kinship families
Increased access to therapeutic support, including therapeutic parenting interventions
Enabling kinship carers to obtain catering qualifications and offer work opportunities within the catering industry
Kinship Hub believes in working in partnership with other community organizations and statutory services that come into contact with kinship families. We are aware that we are part of a larger system and we can best make a difference if we all work together.
We're honoured to have been featured as an agency that is helping to break community isolation for individuals in the Community Connections Lewisham's latest video (from 1:43 minute mark):