about us.

What we do and Why we do it.

Our aim is for Kinship Carers and their children to feel less isolated and more supported.  This can be achieved by individual or group meet ups.

We do have a couple of donators who assist us in making any group effort a success.  The little extras provided on these get togethers really make a huge difference to the children and families.

We have many years experience of caring and organising online support groups and meet-ups.  After a short break due to personal circumstances, we have come to realise there is still a need for informal support and socialisation plus we ourselves have missed the buzz that bringing kinship families together gives both us and you!

Kinship Friendship was officially launched on 01/01/2017.  The team has experience of running online support groups and organising social events for Kinship Carers since 2008.  Everything is undertaken on a voluntary basis and no expenses are taken.

Charlie and Shelly

Charlie and Shelly have been married for overt 30 years. They have Special Guardianship of their two grandchildren; Anthony and Hailey. They have looked after Anthony since he was 15 months old, and Hailey from birth. They also became legal guardians to Sophie in 2018 after her carer, a good friend, passed away. Charlie's many years selling office supplies has provided them with many contacts who have assisted raising awareness of Kinship Care by providing free business cards, promotional items at reduced rates and a solicitor who has spent many hours providing free legal advice. Shelly, having previously worked in residential care home settings organising events for the residents, took over the running of an online support group for Kinship Carers in 2009 and played a key part in seeing this grow. Her best achievement was the birth and organisation of an annual holiday for Kinship Carers and their children. This inspired smaller meet-ups around the country. These offered invaluable opportunities for Kinship Carers to meet others and most importantly, give the children an opportunity to meet other kids who do not live with their parents. Those who know Charlie and Shelly know that they don't take themselves seriously however they are both very serious, and dedicated, when it comes to Kinship issues. Charlie moved into the Kinship cause during December 2010 and joined the online groups at the end of May 2011. He plays a key role as taxi driver (for Shelly, the children and other Kinship friends) for meet ups and his reputation as chief tea-maker is second-to-none. Shelly has been recognised for her work in kinship care by being awarded an MBE in the 2020 New Year's Honours List.

Karen

Karen, mum of 2 girls, is married to Dave and they have a Residence Order for their nephew who's been with them since 2005 when he was 4 years old. Their Kinship situation is due to the sudden and unexpected bereavement of Dave's sister after a routine bowel operation. Karen has a secretarial background and has worked in the Criminal Justice System since 1996.  As a result of this, she has experience in Criminal Justice and Child Protection as well as Children/Young Person's Bereavement.  She has been friends with a number of other Kinship Carers 2008.

Robert

Robert has been a Kinship Carer for 8 years, and is married to Wendy. They have an SGO for their grandson who they have had since birth... They also run a local support group for Kinship Carers.

Sheila

Hi I'm Sheila, I've been married to Kevin for nearly 12 years; he's put up with me for nearly 18 years!  Between us we have 7 children and 13, soon to be 14, grandchildren.  Must not forget the parents that live with us too....  My mum (and dad until he recently died) and Kevin's mum - are we mad?  It certainly helps.....


About 7 years ago, our lives changed forever.  Kevin's son announced that he and his girlfriend were going to have a baby.  Yes it was a magical moment.  And then panic set in....!  We went to conference meetings, family meetings, social workers were in and out of our lives, we learnt what parallel planning was.  Supporting the children and at the same time having our own lives unraveled!  I remember the kinship foster carers manager saying "think of this as a knitted jumper, we will be unraveling it bit by bit and then put it back together".  It was the most nervous, stressful and yet magical time of our lives.


Kevin was googling kinship foster care and made friends with Karen and Shelly; looking for their guidance, help and support, me.  I was just taking what was thrown at me.  I remember I did a lot of crying and didn't manage one Court date without sobbing.  Shelly and Karen were very supportive; we've made lots of friends along the way and have been taken under the wing of Robert.


S (granddaughter) has been with us since she was 10 weeks old.  While all this was happening, the parents tell us they are having another baby!!  I struggled with this and the thought of 2 under 2s panicked me, but knowing that both under 2s would have special needs, with one wheelchair bound, I won't lie it terrified me.  I have the most amazing husband and he didn't pressurise me, but waited patiently until I said YES we can do this!!


K (grandson) moved in at just over a year old and we continue to long term foster him.


Regrets? There are a few, but the biggest one is that we didn't have the little ones from birth.


Well, what more can I say..... I was adopted as a baby, and can empathise.  I am a Wife, mother, step-mother, grandmother, carer, special guardian, kinship foster carer, friend and STILL SMILING!

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