We are avid believers in raising awareness of Kinship Care. There are various ways that this can be done - you can find some examples of our projects and/or involvement on this page.
As well as our confidential support groups, we have a 'Raising Awareness of Kinship Care' Facebook page. This page is accessible to all members of the public/professionals. You can join us by clicking
At the end of 2011/beginning of 2012, we had the idea of having a "Kinship Carers Week" with the aim of raising awareness nationwide. However, we were unsure how to go about it so we approached Grandparents Plus for help. After a meeting at their offices they gave us the news that, following our suggestion, they were going to organise a month of action to raise awareness for Kinship Carers. The chosen month was June 2012. The following are examples of how Kinship Carers were encouraged to become involved:-
- Meet with your local Councillor or MP; individually or in a group. Get the press involved if you can - if not, try to get a photograph of you with the MP and write a piece yourself and submit it to your local paper.
- Organise a get together with other Kinship Carers - again, try to get some media interest and photographs.
- Hold a stall at another organisation's offices or event, eg, a school fair or a community festival or get together.
- Write a letter to your local newspaper highlighting the contribution that Kinship Carers make and the support that we are looking for from the Government. Also try getting it into a school newsletter or Council newsletter.
- Organise a photo opportunity or publicity stunt; invite your local MP/Councillor to attend; some suggestions are:-
- bake a cake with a message on
- make cardboard letters with a message
- get the kids to make a collage or picture using their handprints; both Hetty's and Annabel Roberts (Cambs) have used this tactic in the past, to great effect.
- Hold a teddy bears picnic
- Hold a candle lit vigil
- a photograph with a local celebrity/sports star, etc - your local football team is a good place to look as well.
- Children and Carers dressing up; themed around the Jubilee or superheroes.
If you do ever get media interest, you can ask for the kids' faces to be obscured (as well as your own); this will also highlight some of the everyday problems we face that other families don't.
During this month of raising awareness, Graham (one of our members) put into words how most of us feel....... "As one of thousands of relatives who are raising children who cannot be cared for by their parents, I feel we are not getting the recognition we deserve. The issue of adoption is getting a lot of media attention but many people don't recognize that when children are abused or neglected or when parents have died or misused drugs/alcohol it is usua...lly the grandparents or family members who step in to care for these vulnerable children and raise them; these kinship carers give children stable and loving homes. Research shows that two thirds struggle on very low incomes and often have to give up their jobs or businesses to care for these children. The current system of support is not working; politicians must create a fairer and more transparent system including early intervention with easy access to specialised support for some of the children, who are emotionally damaged, and financial allowances to keep these children from poverty. Relatives who step in to care for these children save the country £12billion by keeping them out of care. The families need and deserve a fairer deal for the sake of these children."