Kinship care is providing the care, protection and nurturing for children who are separated from their parents, or those whose parents are unable to provide care and support for them. A kindship carer is an adult who is looking after the child or children of a relative or friend on a full time basis.
The biggest group of kinship carers are grandparents, but there are many others including older brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, more distant relatives, family friends and neighbours. This may be a permanent arrangement or temporary, formal or informal. Kinship care is probably more common than you think: there are estimated to be between 200,000 and 300,000 children living with kinship carers in the UK
Children in Wales’ Kinship Care project aims to create mutual support groups for kinship carers, including Special Guardians and kinship foster carers, across Wales, enabling them to care for the children living with them effectively.
Our kinship care support groups are small groups of carers who meet on a monthly basis. These support groups offer kinship carers the opportunity to meet, discuss and learn from others in a similar situation, the chance to offer each other emotional and practical support and help alleviate some of the isolation felt by many carers. Most groups are relatively informal and are just a place for kinship carers to get together and chat over a cup of tea. Others are more structured and play a more information giving/training role. Our kinship care support groups provide a great opportunity to kinship carers to meet other carers from their areas, to share experiences and develop new friendships.