BLOG | ‘They listen and never judge’ – kinship carer Joan on the support she receives in caring for her three grandchildren

This week is National Kinship Carers Week. Kinship carers look after a child or young person for another family member or a family friend under what is known as a ‘Special Guardianship Order’. Earlier this year, Liverpool City Council became the first in the UK to launch a charter setting out how it will support kinship carers. In this blog, kinship carer Joan talks about the support she receives from both Liverpool City Council and charity Kinship Carers Liverpool.

At first I was worried, as it was a social worker who came to visit from the Special Guardianship Order (SGO) team. However they made me feel relaxed and explained what support they can provide, including having a support worker. They explained it was my decision if I wanted their support.

They helped with things like transport, and supported and empowered me in meeting the children’s school. They also helped with the children seeing their parents.

Sometimes I just need a chat and to let off steam. They listen and never judge. They have also worked directly with both myself and the children to support them and make sure they have a voice. They supported me through a difficult time when I had issues with the school the children attend.

I have been attending Kinship Carers Liverpool for around three years now, which is not only beneficial for the adults but also the children. It’s a warm and welcoming feeling when you know other people are in the same situations as yourself.

You know you’re not alone when you can speak to others who understand the situation. The children have mixed well and all made friends with the other children.

There are multiple opportunities for everyone to mix from coffee mornings to trips out. It’s nice to socialise with people and listen to their stories, as well as the optional trips that are always thought out to cater for all ages of children.

I really appreciate all the help and support that I have received from both the SGO team and Kinship Carers. Nothing is thing is ever too much when it comes to them giving advice, help and listening to anything we have to say.

Liverpool Waterfront