• Enza Smith MBE

Kinship Children are Slipping Through the Net

During my teaching assistant career, I have had the pleasure of taking many intervention groups, one of them being looked after children(LAC).

It wasn’t until I recently became a Kinship carer and had access to compulsory core training, as well as optional developmental training that I realised how ill equipped we support staff are to recognise and deal with the needs and problems of these children.

Firstly, I would like to see the same level of training that is given to foster carers brought into schools and delivered to the staff who work with LAC in order for these children to reach their full potential, for them to be fully understood and all of their needs to be met.

Secondly, I would like to see all Kinship children who are looked after by family or friends, but are not classed as foster children, given the same opportunities in school as the LAC.

In my experience some of these children slip through the net.

If they have not been or are no longer in the care system, they can miss out on vital support and intervention.

This must not happen, as even though these children get to live with family members or friends under Kinship, special guardianship or whichever Order they are placed under, they have still been removed from their birth parents and they still go through the same emotions, attachments and problems at school as LAC.

Let’s make things equal and fair for all our children and give them all the same opportunities to become successful, well rounded adults.

I would like my voice to be heard by the Department of education – Change needs to be enforced by central government so that all school in the UK comply to support Kinship Children and Local Authorities – Local Authorities need all schools within their area to receive full training into the needs of Kinship children.

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