SUPPORTING KINSHIP CARE

In whatever form it takes, NIROMP believe that Kinship Care is an important and valuable route to settled, permanent care for many children.

ABOUT kinship care

Kinship care is when family members or friends take on the care of children who, for many different reasons, are unable to remain living at home with their parents. Kinship care comes in different shapes and sizes. A child with kinship carers may not need to enter the formal care system, they may live with a friend or family member who has been approved as a foster carer.

NIROMP VIEW ABOUT KINSHIP CARE

NIROMP believe that all Kinship Carers should be properly supported. Regrettably, too many Kinship Carers are still experiencing considerable financial hardship. At the very least, Kinship Carers should expect to have high-quality support informed by a clear and realistic assessment of what help and financial support they need.

WHAT’S NEEDED

NIROMP recommendations to policy makers and practitioners:

  • strengthening of guidance to ensure Kinship Care is fully explored and properly supported as a permanence option for children (including those with a special guardianship order)
  • consideration of how to avoid possible disincentives within the system to keeping children safely out of care (e.g. entitlement to leaving care support, greater
    financial support for kinship carers of looked after children).
  • Effective support for social workers and consideration to the support of IROs within this, to help the child’s professional network to better recognise and respond to the needs of kinship carers and understand the complexities that are often involved in such care arrangements.
  • Effective use of family group conferences at the earliest opportunity to explore whether children are able to remain cared for within their wider family network.

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDANCE

It’s really important that social workers, have help to recognise and respond to the needs of kinship carers and to understand the complexities that are often involved in such care arrangements.

IROs have considerable experience and are here to help.

Download: Initial Family and Friends Care Assessments: a good practice guide (2017)

Download: Staying Put: good practice guidance

cross-party parliamentary taskforce on kinship care

Catherine McKinnell MP is the new Chair of the cross-party Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care. The aim of the Taskforce is to raise awareness about, and support for, children in kinship care and to highlight the importance of this option for children who cannot live with their parents.

Since the Taskforce was set up in December 2018 by former parliamentarian Anna Turley in conjunction with Family Rights Group, thousands of kinship carers and the children they are raising have shared their evidence and experiences with members of the Taskforce. Events for kinship carers have been held across England and Wales and child welfare and family justice organisations working with kinship families have also shared their ideas for change. The next step is for the Taskforce to review evidence gathered and to draw up its report and recommendations, which will be launched in early May 2020.

All MPs and Peers are welcome to join the Taskforce – if you’d like to get involved contact Catherine.mckinnell.mp@parliament.uk or cashley@frg.org.uk. An introductory briefing sets out key information about kinship care for Parliamentarians, and the Taskforce’s Terms of Reference, including the remit of the Taskforce, are outlined here.

Follow the work of the Taskforce on Twitter @KinshipCarePT

To find out more about the work the tasforce are doing and how you can get involved, read the latest newsletter here: https://t.co/AQlhdZFyKQ

Download: Ofsted response to Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care
May 2019

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