At With Kids, we offer many different services to accommodate and help struggling families in the more poverty stricken areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh - and one such service is kinship care.
Kinship care is the care of children by people such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends, because their natural parents are unable to care for them.
The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 emphasises that, if any child cannot be with their parents, connections should be maintained within the family circle if at all possible, and according to Mentor UK, one in 77 children across Scotland grows up in a household with friends or relatives.
The idea for a Kinship Care Group first arose two years ago when a local kinship carer approached us after an activity session, and asked if With Kids could assist her in setting up a local kinship care group as there was a gap in support services to aid local kinship carers.
We agreed, and so the With Kids Kinship Care Group was set up as a friendly, safe place for kinship carers to meet regardless of the legal status of their arrangement.
The group now meets every Wednesday morning, and allows kinship carers to share stories, issues, and worries, and give advice to other kinship carers in a similar position as themselves over a cup of tea or coffee.
The kinship group supports the idea of peer support and learning, where the kinship carers provide each other with emotional, practical and mutual support to alleviate feelings of criticism and isolation, and experiences of little or no practical support in managing the complicated family situations that they deal with.
Some members of the kinship group recently signed up to the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance’s Justice for Kinship Kids campaign, and on the 19th February 2014, they protested outside The Scottish Parliament to urge MSPs to vote for amendments to increase the support available to kinship care families in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill.
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill is just one of the common issues that has been discussed by a programme of guest speakers at the With Kids Kinship Care Group, along with issues such as food poverty, fuel poverty, and welfare reform.
These sessions are open to other known kinship carers locally, and any other organisations who want to find out more about kinship care or any common issues that affect children in care.
If you would like more information on kinship care or the With Kids Kinship Care Group, you can contact us at With Kids Edinburgh on 0131 453 6937, With Kids Glasgow on 0141 550 5770 or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.
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