Kinship Carers keep it in the family

A charity which supports people who are raising other people’s children is continuing to transform lives.

Kinship Carers, which is based at Ellergreen Community Centre, in Norris Green, Liverpool, was awarded a three-year grant of £90,000 by the Steve Morgan Foundation in 2018 to help with staffing costs.

The charity is in the final year of the grant and Pauline Thornley, project co-ordinator of Kinship Carers, said it has been changing lives since being established in 1980.

“We’re keeping young people out of local authority care,” she said. “We are working with people who are caring for other people’s children for a variety of reasons. It could be grandparents who are looking after their grandchildren because their own children can’t do it.

“Children live with other family members for a number of reasons, including addiction, mental health issues, bereavement and imprisonment and the carers step in to prevent the children being taken into care.

“We’re working with 120 families but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We recognised there was a gap in the support for people who were raising other people’s children.

“Many of the carers we support are in their 60s and 70s and have long-term health conditions themselves which is why Covid-19 has been so challenging.”

The charity offers one-to-one support, group work and peer work.

Last year through funding and support from the Steve Morgan Foundation, Kinship Carers took a group of youngsters to London to visit Parliament and meet with former MP Stephen Twigg.

The support allowed them to stay overnight, do some sightseeing and create some lifetime memories.

Pauline said: “It’s all about raising people’s aspirations. 

One of the youngsters helped by the charity said: “Kinship has changed my life immensely and I have learned lots of new things.” 

The charity came up with the idea of a Kinship Carers Week in 2015 and it has now been adopted nationally.

Jane Harris, director of regional funding at Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “Kinship Carers provide a vital service in supporting carers through some very challenging family circumstances.”

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