Kinship Carers UK
Trustee Report & Accounts
For the year ended 31 March 2017
Kinship Carers UK Legal and Administration Information
Charity number: 1163906
Trustees: Martin Rutter, Chair (replaced by Don Beckett in October 2017)
David Smith (appointed 2015)
Joy Squires (appointed 2015)
Susan Humes (appointed 2015)
Susan Sztybel (appointed 2015)
Victoria Smith (appointed 2015)
Enza Smith MBE (appointed 2015)
Jane Hinton (appointed 2016)
Principal Registered address:
43 Somers Road
11 Victoria Square
The trustees present their report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2017
The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the accounting policies set out in notes to the accounts and comply with the charity’s governing document.
Kinship Carers UK was established on 5th September 2011. Kinship Carers UK became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) on the 8th October 2015.
Kinship Carers UK objectives are to promote the better care, upbringing and establishment in life of children in particular by:
Promoting the role of kinship carers and, in particular, the care by grandparents, at all levels, particularly in circumstances of family breakdown, single parenthood or other difficult conditions;
Supporting and advising kinship carers, grandparents, friend and family carers who are acting as, or intend to act as, carers, particularly in the circumstances outlined above.
The relief of children and their carers and carers families in the area of benefit, by providing facilities in the interest of social welfare for recreation and their leisure time occupation with a view of improving their condition of life.'
Kinship Carers UK champion the vital role of friend and family carers otherwise known as kinship carers or connected families, when they take on the challenging role of permanently parenting someone else’s child. Everything we do is designed to improve the day to day experiences of kinship families by empowering them and supporting them. We listen to what they say about their situation and identify, with them, positives changes that can be made.
Kinship Carers UK help kinship families succeed, we promote loving and supportive relationships between children, young people and their kinship families. We provide independent support, information and advice. In particular, we offer a wealth of relevant experience from kinship families to prospective kinship carers and to all those who work with them.
There are 300,000 children in the UK raised by family and friend’s carers. These children have suffered similar adversities to those in the care system, yet the support they receive bears little if any relationship to their needs. There will always be a need for some children to be cared for away from their natural parents, so we are helping to create a world where every unique kinship family we meet is recognised and supported.
All kinship care families receive the support, encouragement and opportunities they need to enjoy their lives
There is recognition of the support that children coming into kinship care are likely to need in order to address traumatic experiences of abuse, neglect and serious family dysfunction
With the right help and people in their lives who believe that every kinship family can thrive.
We do this by:
Combating the isolation and stress kinship families encounter in their day to day lives and help children stay connected to their families and communities.
Give kinship families free and confidential support, including being an advocate for the kinship families.
Giving kinship families a stronger voice
Informing, empowering and supporting kinship families, children and young people in their care, through projects and campaigns which directly benefit them
Ensure children who have experienced the loss or removal of their parents get the help and support they need to move forward with their lives.
Generating information such support materials and educational literature for kinship carers and professionals such as social workers, teachers and health care professionals, as a means of improving the lives of kinship families.
Continuing to be a well-managed charity and in the near future running from a fixed location and achieve long-term financial stability
Setting up more support groups in the UK offering support and training to other support group leaders. To provide links and support for families and their children’s current schools, helping support positive relationships between them, supporting the parents in meetings with the special education needs department and teaching assistants to help give the school an insight to what issues the children may have and working out the best strategies for the child involved.
To continue facilitating the Kinship carers support groups and finding new ways in which we can support them. Likewise continuing to work alongside other relevant organisations in conveying up to date information.
We are independent - we always act and speak in the best interests of kinship carers and the children in their care and we are not compromised by any political or commercial interests.
We are engaged - we actively listen to and talk with kinship cares their children and young people in their care and other people and organisations with expertise and insights that can help.
We are transparent and accessible - we communicate clearly what we do, why we do it and how we spend the donations we receive. This is achieved by the Kinship Care.Org website and our publications.
Kinship Carers UK’s long term aspiration is to develop and refine the service, to provide a blue print that could be duplicated in other areas of the country where there is a growing need.
What We Have Achieved
Kinship Carers UK champions the vital role of kinship carers ‘friend and family carers’ when they take on the challenging role of permanently parenting someone else’s child.
We have offered the following:
We have supported 168 families to date, 123 of which are families that live in Worcestershire. These are families that we meet either on a regular basis or in times of crisis within their lives. The majority of families have orders such as Special Guardianship Orders, Child Arrangement Orders, Kinship Fostering, Carers with private arrangements, Adoptive parents and also grandparents sharing the responsibility of caring for their grandchildren.
We currently have a total of 9 support groups:
6 support groups in Worcestershire covering Malvern, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Kidderminster and 2 support group in Worcester both day time and evening.
Support groups in 3 other areas in the country that are regularly attended in Peterborough, Taunton and Cheltenham.
During support groups we offer adults advice, emotional support and encouragement. Some sessions offered are bespoked training to carers on the following subjects:
Adoption support fund for carers with SGO orders
Internet & phone safety workshop
Kinship Legal Law Q & A
Mental health first aid
Positive mental health workshop
Protective Behaviours workshop
Understanding Attachment Workshop
Understanding the kinship law
Our advocacy service has been a lifesaving link for a number of kinship carers. We have supported carers in meetings with other professionals such as, child in need meetings, child protection meetings, family conferences, meeting with schools help both teachers understand this issues that the children face.
Peer Support Programme
The peer support programme has been very successful. Our experience has shown us that children that each carer has their own identity, their own story and likewise so have the children, we carefully identify carers that have a wealth of experience from their circumstances of life and encourage them to share, identify and support others.
Kinship Carers UK youth group is for children and young people from the age of 6 to 16. We are now in the third academic year of running the group and have an experienced youth manager and a dedicated number of voluntary youth workers. Our aim for youth group is to be a therapeutic youth group and we feel we are achieving this as it has been successful in regards to the children and young people being comfortable to be who they are and how they feel emotionally. To be with other children who are being raised with kinship carers and can identify with them.
Each session we provide a variety of activities such as:
Cooking – healthy eating, cooking for fun, health and safety in the kitchen.
Arts and crafts – therapeutic art and creating crafts
Imaginary play – Children are encouraged to let their imaginations take them to lands of knights, princesses, dragons to everyday play such as shops. Children feel they are free to play at their current milestone without feeling judged.
Sports – Sports are fun we encourage team games, such football, volley ball, dodge ball, to less energetic games such table tennis to table football.
We have also invited a guest speaker who discussed the Jurassic age and the children were introduced to amazing fossils.
Advocacy has been a major part of our activity after the support group activities. We have supported potential friend and family carers through the court process gaining valuable experience of legal processes.
We have successfully supported carers in Child in Need Meetings and Child protection meetings leading to successful results for everyone concerned, celebratory working with the carers and professionals in seeking the best outcome.
We have supported carers and their children and young people in schools, by helping teachers to understand the trauma that the children have faced in the past has an impact on their lives in school and that they are not ‘Naughty children’ but children that need therapeutic support as any other looked after child.
We understand that being a kinship family can feel very isolating for both the carer and child. We encourage families to get together in relaxing fun environments. Our family activities have proven to be very popular for everyone of all ages. Each activity we provide gives families the opportunity to share family time together and enjoy each other’s company.
These are some of the family activities we have provided:
Afternoon summer tea party
Bow Hills miniature railway family day out
Glitter and Glue family fun days
Ten pin bowling
Live music event for the whole family
Multi-colour fun run
Weston Super Mare day trips
Whilst it is important to have family time, it is also important for carers to step out of the role of carer for an evening and have some ‘me time’. This year we have introduced an ‘adult only’ evening out at a local restaurant. This has proven to be very successful and it is something which we are going to build on.
Collaboration with Other Organisations Raising Awareness
University of Worcester
We would like to thank Nicola Stobbs, Lecturer institute of Education, and Alison Prowle, Senior lecturer Centre for Early Childhood, for carrying out an initial research project on behalf of Kinship Carers UK: "An exploration of the parenting needs of kinship carers".
We would also like to thank Professor Mary Nolan, International Journal of Birth and Parent Education vol4 issue 2 winter 2016/17, for the awareness raising of kinship issues and Kinship Carers UK. We look forward to continuing our working professional relationship with the University of Worcester.
Kinship Care Alliance
Kinship Carers UK joined forces with the Kinship Care Alliance. The alliance is made up of a group of organisations which subscribe to a set of shared aims and beliefs on the issue of family and friends care. The aim of the Kinship Care Alliance is to prevent children from being unnecessarily raised outside of the family. Enhance outcome for children who cannot live with their parents and who are living with relatives and secure improved recognition and support for family and friend carers.
We ran our very first networking event, which was sponsored by Clare Whittaker from Gordon Lutton at Bolero Wine Bar. The event was very successful evening, Robin Walker our local MP joined us and various council members, solicitors and members of the public. Awareness of our work with kinship carers was brought into the public eye.
Our key objectives for this coming year are as follows:
Continue to support kinship families with bespoke training by understanding their needs and finding solutions together.
Further develop high quality support material on line, continuing to offer phone and online support.
Further develop support groups across the country building support groups where they are needed.
Further develop the youth activities, working with kinship children
Continue to work with other agencies/university/businesses in influencing policies for the next generation of kinship carers.
Continue to develop our infrastructure and our work with volunteers from all walks of life.
Our Future Aims
Our aims for the next 3 years explain what we believe, what our main priorities are and how we will make a difference to kinship families.
Everything we do is designed to improve the day to day experience of kinship families and the children in their care and their future lives. Kinship Carers UK is a voice for all Kinship families; we listen to what they say about their experiences and identify with them what improvements can be made and work in partnership with those able to help us bring about positive change.
Long Term Aspirations
The long term aspirations for the Kinship Carers UK are as follows:
To have a permanent base from which to work, within a facility which provides several teaching rooms with ICT facilities, parent/carer support counselling room, sensory therapy room, library/music room, soft play area and large function room with a kitchen attached. A secure office environment in which to keep sensitive material, relevant policies and including safe guarding, DBS forms etc. Garden area with facilities to include play area, sensory garden, area to grow fruit and vegetables. Somewhere for emotional vulnerable children to (let off steam).
Working from the location in which we can continue supporting Kinship carers with the following: education support, counselling, training and parenting classes so that we can provide a supportive and nurturing environment for families that encourages and promotes communication, positive behaviour pattern, cooperation and mutual respect.
This would also offer support for the families and rest to the parents by providing opportunities to participate in enjoyable and motivating activities and experiences with the children in their care. Also offering a high quality person-centred care, combined with an individual needs-led service offering daily or half day respite sessions in which there is a facility offering educational support, sensory therapy and relaxation therapy, teaching children coping strategies in real life situations in a holistic way identifying the children’s individual needs and promoting positive relationships with their families, peer groups and society.
Also liaison with schools in supporting the children with off timetable activities by building children’s confidence and self-esteem and to promote a better self-image through practical education support, counselling, training and parenting classes by encouraging families to engage in meaningful and purposeful activities.
Funding and Support
We are immensely grateful to everyone who has supported Kinship Carers UK for their kind generosity and belief in the work we do.
Individuals who have directly supported us through activities:
Our Happy Place
Ruby Hinton – Slay the dragons art exhibition
Gordon Lutton – Clare Whittaker
Waldrons – Luke Boxall
Marrs Bar – Brian Marh
Governance and Management
The Board of Trustees meet 6 meetings during the year. The trustees serve for three years, after which they put themselves forward for reappointment. The Board of Trustees keeps the skill requirements under review and may appoint a person as a trustee in areas that are beneficial to the running of the charity. New trustees are sought by dialogue with trustee and advertising. Newly appointed trustees serve for a maximum of 3 years and the Board will not run with less than 3 trustees, as written in the governing document. Each new trustee receives a copy of the CIO documentation and documentation which includes their role and responsibilities. The Chief Executive Officer also has meetings with new trustees to ensure that each trustee clearly understands their role.
The Board of Trustees are responsible for setting out polices of Kinship Carers UK. The trustees elect a chairperson. The chief executive offer is responsible to the board trustees for the execution of the policies.
All of our work would not be possible without the hard work of our volunteers, from our trustees, support group leaders, youth group workers, administration, fund raisers and our casual volunteering staff. We ae very grateful to all our skilled and dedicated volunteers who continue to play a vital role in supporting Kinship Carers UK and kinship families.
With special thanks to the following:
Nora Baker (Peterborough Support group leader)
Nichola Daley (Redditch Support group leader)
Joy & Colin Green (Wombourne Support group leader)
Jane Hinton (Worcester evening Support Group leader)
James & Patricia Jackson
Enza Smith (Worcester morning Support Group leader)
Julie Spicer (Malvern Support group leader)
Susan Sztybel (Kidderminster Support Group leader)
Rachel O’Malley (Taunton Support Group leader)
Roger Wylde (Wylde Photography & Video)
Risk Management and Internal Controls
The Board of Trustees has overall responsibility for ensuring that Kinship Carers UK has appropriate systems of control, both financial and operational. The Chief Executive Officer identifies major risks to which the charity may be exposed; all risks are reviewed and dealt with by the board of trustees.
The trustees are responsible for preparing the Trustees’ Report and the Financial Statement in accordance with applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards. Trustees have to ensure that the financial statements comply with the charities commission standard.
CIO requires the trustees to prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the movements of funds, including income, expenditure safeguarding the assets and charity reserves and taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. No reserve policy is currently in place. The trustees are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the financial information included on the Charity Commission website.
The trustees declare that they have approved the trustees’ report above.