This month we’ve begun working on a project with the Family Rights Group funded by Lankelly Chase. Over the next six months we’ll be running a series of storytelling workshops for parents and kinship carers who are panel members for the charity and inform their work.
The Family Rights Group (FRG) are a charity that works with parents in England and Wales whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system and with members of the wider family who are raising children unable to remain at home. They advise parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends about their rights and options when social workers or courts make decisions about their children’s welfare. An important part of what they do is to campaign for families to amplify their voices, to be treated fairly and get help early to prevent problems escalating. Family Rights Group’s goal is to enable children to be raised safely and thrive within their family and community.
As part of our project we’ll be working alongside kinship carers and parents to give them the skills and confidence to tell their stories in their own ways and in their own words and to address some of the systemic issues they have faced through their experiences.
We’re excited about working with the Family Rights Group as they are leading the way putting lived experience expertise and insight at the heart of everything they do. They recently announced that half of their trustees will be kinship carers or parents with experience of the social care system alongside other trustees including, practitioners and academics in children’s services and family justice.
Our first workshop looked at blogging and vlogging, and it was brilliant to see Chief Exec Cathy Ashley share her first vlog the next day. Over the next workshops we’ll be looking at social media, working with journalists and presentation skills. I look forward to showcasing the stories. In the meantime this series by Polly Curtis of the new media platform Tortoise outlines why stories, such as those we’re telling through this project with the Family Rights Group need to be told.
Further Information: https://www.frg.org.uk/
What is kinship care?
Kinship care is when a child lives full-time or most of the time with a relative or friend who isn’t their parent, usually because their parents aren’t able to care for them. That relative or friend is called a ‘kinship carer’, and it’s estimated that around half of kinship carers are grandparents, but many other relatives including older siblings, aunts, uncles, as well as family friends and neighbours can also be kinship carers.
Why are children in kinship care?
Most children are in kinship care because their parents aren’t able to care for them. FRG research shows that around half of children (52%) are in kinship care as a result of parental drug or alcohol misuse, although other reasons include bereavement, imprisonment, parental abuse or neglect and parental ill health. Almost half of children in kinship care have some kind of special needs (49%), most commonly emotional and behavioural difficulties.