Weʼre raising £12,000 to Help us support people raising their relatives and friends' children. We will reserve the first £1,000 raised for our Christmas Appeal.
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A kinship carer is anyone who cares full time and long term for a child who is not their biological child, but who they have a meaningful family connection with; for example grandchildren, nieces and nephews, but also godchildren and children of family friends. These arrangements are made when children cannot safely live with their parents, or when the parents have died. There are approximately 200,000 kinship carers in the UK; however the actual number is likely to be much higher if we consider all the carers without an order. The use of Special Guardianship Orders has risen by 193% since 2010. Kinship Care is now the biggest route out of care for children in England, overtaking Adoption.
Children who grow up in kinship placements tend to have better outcomes than children in the care system. These placements also tend to last longer = more stability.
“Should these carers no longer be able to care for their children, this would mean an estimated 64,000 children would be likely to go into local authority foster or residential care. This would be at an associated cost to local authorities of £2.1billion per year.” From State of the Nation 2018 Survey, Kinship Charity.
Despite the growing number of officially recognized kinship families, this has not gone hand in hand with increased levels of support. Kinship carers face a number of challenges once they take on their caring role. They are expected to parent traumatized children with little or no preparation or support, and often have no access to the services that are normally available to foster carers and people who adopt. Many experience poverty as a direct result of having to stop work or reduce their hours in order to care for the children who have come into their family. Kinship Hub was created to address some of these inequalities and provide practical and targeted support to kinship families in London and, more recently, in other parts of the UK.
Our current projects:
Kinship Hub webinars:
Kinship carers rarely receive any preparation or training as part of their caring role. Since June 2020, Kinship Hub has provided free weekly webinars on a range of relevant topics, from attachment and trauma, to talking to children about their history, to caring for Black and Dual Heritage hair and skin. Kinship carers can refer themselves or be referred by a social worker or other professional. Currently our webinars are open to any kinship carer in the UK. We continue to receive enthusiastic feedback about our webinars, for example one of our carers commented: “I am a Guardian to my 2 children and all 3 of us have found the services of the Kinship Hub invaluable. I have learnt a great deal from the weekly training courses/webinar, access to information and support that I would not have had access to without this hub. Being a single carer and having to support 2 children financially, I am not able to afford the training courses if I had to pay for them. The courses have provided me with practical support and strategies to understand and therefore manage the children's behaviour, as well as looking after myself.”
Kinship Kitchen is a project that promotes life skills, addresses food poverty, teaches budgeting skills and improves the mental and physical health of children and carers through the provision of healthy, fresh ingredients and group cooking sessions. We ran a successful pilot in South London between January 2021 and July 2021; each week we delivered fresh ingredients to our families together with a recipe card; we then ran cook-along sessions on Zoom on the same day. The food that we cook is culturally relevant and reflective of the diverse group of carers that we serve- 77% of our families are from BAME backgrounds. Carers are invited to share recipes and sometimes lead the cooking sessions. As things started to open up again, we started offering in person meet-ups where carers and children could build on their relationships and create their own peer support networks. We want to build on this by securing a venue where we can continue to offer monthly in person cooking sessions alongside our weekly online meet-ups. The service is greatly appreciated by our families, who have given us fantastic feedback. For example, one of our carers commented:
“The cooking hub is amazing!! As well as learning new dishes/recipes, it has allowed the children to see that there are other children in the same situation as themselves and so are not alone. I cannot stress enough how important seeing this has been for my children in feeling they are not the only ones that do not live their birth parent(s).”
We need ongoing support to continue offering these vital services to kinship carers in and outside London. Your donation will go towards things like (but not limited to):
Our Christmas Appeal (the first £1,000 raised will be ring-fenced for this), providing food hampers, toys and presents for our most in need families
Ingredients for our cooking club
Venues for in-person meet ups to help carers and children to connect
Employing a part-time member of staff to help us with delivering ingredients to our families
Increasing our reach to more families who might not have heard about our services
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Kinship Hub started crowdfunding
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May 6, 2022
Nov 17, 2021
Thank you for making a difference x
Nov 13, 2021
Oct 10, 2021
Kinship is such an important and largely invisible form of care and your project is brilliant in highlighting this
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About the fundraiser
Kinship Hub is a social enterprise that aims to support kinship carers, i.e. people who step in to raise children within their family or their network when they cannot live with their parents, or when their parents have passed away.