Conference to discuss ‘kinship’ care

A conference was held in Liverpool on Friday 27 March to promote awareness of kinship care.

Kinship care is where a child who would otherwise end up in foster care is placed with a family member or a close friend of the family.

It has huge advantages as it ensures continuity of care for the young person because they remain with someone they know, but the council is keen to know what more it can do to support carers.

Liverpool City Council currently spends £5 million supporting children in kinship placements who are living with their family members subject to Special Guardianship Orders and Child Arrangement Orders.

Speakers at the event at Everton Football Club, included Pauline Thornley – the founder of PADA (Parents Against Drugs and Alcohol), Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus, West Derby MP Stephen Twigg and representatives from the city council, including Chief Executive Ged Fitzgerald.

The delegates included carers, young people, social workers, housing providers and Merseyside Police.

Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We have around 90 kinship carers in Liverpool and we know from experience that it is hugely beneficial for the children as it means there is a level of continuity of care for the young person.

“We really value kinship carers, often they are members of the child’s extended family. We will be listening very hard to what they tell us, and coming up with ideas in order to strengthen their relationship with Children’s Services.”