Most people have heard of foster Carers and adoption, but not many of heard of the unsung heroes that are sandwiched between these two-Kinship Carers! I see you rereading that sentence and questioning the terminology and wondering where did this unrecognised group slip in?
Kinship Carers are parallel to foster Carers but not comparable to those that adopt. If you choose to become a foster carer you get training and ongoing support, access to therapeutic services, extra funding for the child’s birthday/Christmas and towards holiday activities, plus respite can be accessed via another foster carer if needed.
Kinship caters as the name suggests are those Carers that become caretakers of children that have a blood tie to them. When a child is removed into short term foster care social services will look for family willing to take the child, if the parents are deemed unfit, before they apply for long term care orders. Kinship Carers are emotionally attached to the child and at times social services exploit that connection with phrases such as ‘if you don’t take them then they will be in care the rest of their childhood/you will have very limited contact, if any/the child will be adopted’ etc. Kinship Carers save social services a lot of money, it is a 24/7, 52 weeks a year, and up to 18 years commitment with no training or support, and once the child is placed then social services disappear. But a lot of these children are traumatised from their experience, causing families to struggle on, relationships break down causing more trauma, a lot of families end up living below the poverty line due to changes in their circumstances and/or live in overcrowded houses.
Kinship Care UK is a charity that was set up to help and support Kinship Carers in any way possible, but we need you help to help these families survive and for the traumatised children to gain the right to access therapeutic services from the beginning instead of fighting the referral systems. Please help us keep families together and eradicate the issues that can cause placement break down. Please donate if you can, every penny will help us support the invisible sector of the care system, if you can’t financially donate maybe consider volunteering with the charity.
Donations can be made by ........................ Thank you for helping to make each day more manageable for Kinship Carers.