National Kinship Carers Awareness Week

What were our aims:

To raise local and national awareness of Kinship Carers and the work they do. This was the first ever awareness campaign for Kinship Carers.

To get the local authority involved, local councillors and other kinship projects across the country.

To bring about change in the way Kinship Families are dealt with and the lack of support they received.

We had meetings and discussions with staff and families to decide how we take forward our National Awareness Week. It was essential the families were involved with the process because they lead the project and are acutely aware of the lack of recognition, financially, socially and mentally.

We started our awareness campaign by having a 7-minute promotional video produced, in which staff and family contributed in telling what Kinship Carers is about, the struggles and challenges Kinship families face and the importance of our project in supporting families.

High Tea

We treated our kinship carers to a lovely high tea. Tea Coffee, cake and biscuits were served and we even had Speedo Mick, a belly dancer and singer.

Friday 14th October

 

 

Kids Party

Part of National Kinship Carers Week

STEPS

Steps is an adult confidence building programme, it is for people who have low self esteem. It encourages people to see the potential they have inside and challenge the negative beliefs they have about themselves.

They understand how their mind works and how they see themselves. The group participate in a positive learning environment that helps them begin to understand how to change the way they think, develop their potential and take responsibility for their own and their family’s lives.

STEPS focuses on a vision of a better future and offers a proven approach to make that vision a reality.

 

 

 

 

Royal Court

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We visited the Royal Court for a Comedy performance and dinner. 23/03/2016

Here’ what one of our Kinship Carers said-

“We went the Royal Court for a comedy afternoon, we had bread and scouse and even got a silver spoon.

We had a great time, a catch up and a natter. We also had lots of laughing – my ribs were so sore after.”

Speke Hall

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18/05/2016

We took our group of Kinship Carers out to Speke Hall for a day trip out and learned about the local history and had fund doing it together.

Quotes from people who came with us included:

Jackie “I thought it was a really interesting experience for me, it took my mind off my problems for a few hours and I enjoyed the company.”

Margaret ” Glad I went on this trip to Speke Hall, was very interesting. Really boosted how I was feeling, amazing day.”

Marie “I have really enjoyed today, it has been good to do something different, Speke Hall was amazing. It was good to learn about local history, I have had an amazing day and it was nice to be out and about”

Conference

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By Alex, young person raised in kinship care

We are a group of young people who attend a Kinship Care Group in Liverpool. As far as we know we are the only group for young people’s being raised in kinship care in England.

We recently held a conference to raise awareness of kinship care from a young person’s perspective. The conference was held in Goodison in March and we were very proud of what we achieved. We decided that we needed to target professionals who work in social care and education as this is where we need to raise awareness. We worked very hard as a group to provide all of the professionals that attended with information. We used personal stories showcased through a variety of methods including presentations, soundbites and a monologue to show the very real challenges that we have had to face in our lives. At the same time we also wanted to ensure that we showed the positive experiences we have had being part of the project.

The aim of the day was to raise awareness of what kinship care is and show that kinship families need support. We feel that our families are often forgotten about and have gone unnoticed in the past. We shared our experiences with the professionals that attended because we wanted people to truly understand what kinship care is and what we have to deal with. We hope from doing the first ever young person’s conference that it will bring about change and hopefully other young people will know about us and can be supported. On the day we wanted action! So we asked all the professionals to make a pledge and tell us how they will support kinship families going forward.

At the conference we were joined by Sam Smethers from Grandparents Plus who kindly offered to give an explanation on what kinship care is; Pauline Thornley our project Co-ordinator who works full time for the project, our local Member of Parliament Stephen Twigg who praised our project and talked about how he would like to continue to help and support us. Bernie Brown the Assistant Director of Children’s Services , also spoke about how much she enjoyed visiting the project and meeting us as well as our kinship carers. She made it clear that she is eager for our Local Authority to work with us.

A lot of thought and time went into the preparation of the conference. We decided that two exercises were needed. Firstly we quizzed professionals about what they knew about kinship care and then went on to ask them to make a pledge. I am happy to report that both went really well and we received lots of ideas.

As young people we were pleased on how the day turned out. Our aim for the future is to be able to hold a National Conference and bring about real change for kinship carers and their families. We also think it would be great if there were other groups like ours across the country as young people need support and advice as much as our kinship carers do.

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