Grandparents Plus supports grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and other relatives who are raising children in Britain today because their parents cannot look after them.
The charity, which has received over £1 million thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, uses experience, expertise, and strength to change lives.
It supports kinship carers in their homes and communities, giving advice and helping them work through problems to find the best way forward. It connects carers together in their national community and network of local support groups, so they don’t have to face the fight alone. And it helps professionals understand kinship families and improve support for them.
And through research and campaigns, the charity makes sure kinship care is understood and the government knows what changes are needed.
Kinship care almost always begins in crisis, with a child whose parents are no longer able to care for them. Instinctively, a loved one steps in – a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or family friend. They are now a kinship carer, bringing up the children they love.
Kinship care is life-changing and challenging, there’s usually no chance to prepare. Plans are pushed aside. Relationships, jobs and savings are sacrificed. Yet kinship carers do it without a thought for themselves because they put the children first. Kinship carers in the UK are raising over 200,000 children.
One of the key resources which players of People’s Postcode’s Lottery help fund is the specialist kinship care advice service, a crucial resource for carers at all stages of their kinship journeys.
Kinship carers have left some very positive feedback about this service, with most saying they would recommend this service to other kinship carers.
"Thanks so much, you can't understand how much this will change and make things easier for us, forever grateful," says one kinship carer.
Another said, "Please could you thank all who deal with the grants for helping me and my family, we appreciate it. But most of all thank you for taking the time talking to me and doing what you can."
This week is Kinship Care week, 5-11 October 2020.
Kinship Care Week aims to increase understanding and recognition of the role of kinship carers and the amazing job they do. It also draws attention to the challenges faced by kinship carers, and importantly, it’s an opportunity to thank kinship carers for the incredible job they do.