Liverpool is celebrating Kinship Carers Week from 2 – 8 October.
Kinship carers look after a child or young person for another family member or a family friend; it is sometimes also known as family and friends care, connected care, relative care or kincare.
It is estimated that there are about 180,000 children in the UK being looked after in a kinship family, and research shows the outcomes are better.
Earlier this year, Liverpool City Council became the first in the UK to launch a charter setting out how it will support kinship carers.
Kinship Carers Liverpool is the longest running and largest kinship care support group in the country. They established National Kinship Carers Week in 2015 to raise awareness of the hidden number of carers keeping children out of local authority care.
They provide practical and emotional support for families, taking them out on day trips, pamper days and organising coffee mornings and fun activities, as well as helping them to navigate their way through the maze of regulations.
This year, the theme of Kinship Care Week is #DoOneThing, asking people and organisations to raise awareness and keep kinship care in the spotlight.
A series of events have been organised by the charity, which is based at Ellergreen Community Centre in Norris Green.
Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Liz Parsons, will be attending an intergenerational evening on Wednesday to show her support and appreciation.
Cllr Liz Parsons said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all kinship carers in Liverpool for the amazing work that they do. They are very often our unsung heroes, not only because they care for children and young people, but because they help to keep family units together
“Earlier this year we were proud to become the first area in the country to launch a charter setting out how we will support kinship carers. It was written by Kinship Carers Liverpool in partnership with the Council – with carers, children and young people sharing their experiences to develop the framework
“If you are a kinship carer, please attend one Kinship Carer Liverpool’s events this week, and thank you again for the incredible job that you do – it is much appreciated.”
Pauline Thornley, Project Co-ordinator for Kinship Carers Liverpool, said: “Our project supports the hidden number of carers out there who are supporting family members and keeping them out of local authority care.
“But kinship carers are often ill-prepared emotionally and financially – having extra mouths to house and feed, not to mention finding the energy required to rear young ones.
“We run courses and hold events and activities for both carers and young people, providing the support they need to help them through life’s challenges. We offer unique and tailor-made services that specifically address these families’ needs.”
KINSHIP CARER WEEK EVENTS AT ELLERGREEN COMMUNITY CENTRE
Monday 2 October 10am: Entertainment from Arona drumming and refreshments
Wednesday 4 October 10am: Coffee morning 6-8pm: Intergenerational night including food, gifts and entertainment
Friday 6 October 11am – 2pm: High tea for kinship carers from 11am – 2pm