Published: 29 September 2023
The vital role played by the nation’s kinship carers will be celebrated from Monday 2 October, when Kinship Care Week 2023 launches across England and Wales.
Kinship carers are relatives or family friends who step up to raise a child whose parents are not able to care for them. Kinship carers can be grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, relatives or family friends.
Kinship Care Week aims to increase visibility of children raised in kinship care and celebrate the enormous efforts and sacrifices of those caring for them. There are more than 162,000 children being raised in kinship care in England and Wales.
During the national awareness week, the public and organisations that work with or support kinship carers are being asked to #DoOneThing to raise awareness of kinship care. It could be sharing a social media post or holding a tea party for local kinship families, putting up a poster at a community venue or sharing information about Kinship Care Week in newsletters and websites. A digital resource pack, brimming with ideas on how organisations can #DoOneThing for kinship families, is available on Kinship’s website.
It’s been a pivotal year for kinship care, with the Government committing to the first ever, National Kinship Care Strategy, to be published by the end of 2023. Campaigners and kinship families are hoping the Strategy will commit to increased support for kinship carers, who have historically received little financial support, emotional support, advice or training from local authorities.
Kinship’s CEO Dr Lucy Peake said:
Kinship Care Week is an opportunity for everyone to thank kinship carers for the crucial role they play in children’s lives and in our society.
Kinship carers step up to provide loving, stable homes for children they care about, preventing hundreds of thousands of children entering the care system. With little support available to them, this comes at a great cost, but time and again, kinship carers overcome staggering challenges to ensure children grow up with all the love, care and support they deserve.
This Kinship Care Week, it’s wonderful to be able to come together to celebrate inspirational kinship carers across England and Wales and the incredible children they are raising.”
John, a kinship carer to his grandson in Middlesborough said:
Kinship Care Week is really important to kinship carers. It’s our moment to feel recognised and valued within society, when we can celebrate stepping up to care for children when they need us to.
I hope that everyone can help raise awareness of who we are and the difficulties we face. It’s an opportunity for everyone to share information about kinship care online to help more kinship carers within our communities find the support they need.”
Councillor John Whitby, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Learning and Skills, said:
This week is the perfect time to recognise the important people in children’s lives that step forward and care for a child when their own parents are unable to care for them. This decision by relatives can make a massive difference to these children’s lives which we want to say a massive thank you for.”
Kinship is the leading kinship care charity in England and Wales. For more information about Kinship Care Week, visit: kinship.org.uk/get-involved/kinship-care-week/.
If you would like to change a life, come along to our next fostering information event. Our next free fostering event is on Tuesday 14 November 2023 from 6pm to 7:30pm and help online through Zoom. You can learn more by visiting our fostering information webpage.