Thousands of kinship carers will be better supported as the government today (December 15) launches the nation’s first kinship care strategy, ‘Championing Kinship Care’.
This strategy focuses on incredible kinship caregivers – grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and wider family networks – providing loving homes for children who otherwise would not be able to live together. Parents and children will now receive greater support and financial stability from local authorities and schools.
Backed by £20 million to deliver on the strategy, the government has confirmed that it will provide a grant to many kinship carers to match the amount foster carers receive – currently at between £154 and £270 per week per child. This is being trialled in eight regions across the country and will help ensure that people don’t have to choose between being a carer and being able to support their family.
It will also expand the role of virtual school principals – education leaders in local authorities – to ensure kinship care. They will ensure that educating children about kinship care is prioritized so they can have bright futures.
Foster care has also been bolstered today with an additional £8.5 million. This takes the government’s total investment in this parliament to £36 million, the largest ever investment in fostering in the UK. This funding will ensure there are more foster carers available to support and care for children by expanding recruitment campaigns, streamlining the recruitment process and providing better support to multiple governments. more local rights for current foster carers.
The new kinship strategy and additional foster care funding are part of a range of initiatives launched today, aimed at meeting commitments set out in the ambitious social care strategy for children, ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, was published earlier this year.
Minister for Children and Families, David Johnston, said:
Kinship carers are already doing incredible work to support and nurture children who are likely to come into care and I am so proud that the Government has published its first strategy on everyday kinship care now.
I have met kinship caregivers from many different backgrounds and with different experiences, but when they tell their stories, they always emphasize that they never expected to care for a child but they do it out of love.
Kinship carers are often hidden and today’s strategy paves the way for them to receive the practical and financial support they deserve for the vital role they play in children’s lives.
We are committed to reforming the entire children’s social care system to support families – from the moment children face challenges and need support, to transforming the experiences children have. obtained through care.
Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progress Mims Davies MP, said:
No one should have to suffer for their start in life, and the wonderful people who open their homes and hearts to vulnerable children deserve all the support they can get. They need to ensure no child is left behind.
I’m delighted that this new strategy will give Kinship Carers the recognition and financial support they need, while ensuring as many children as possible can get ahead and progress in life and have can take advantage of opportunities to have the future they deserve.
Dr Lucy Peake, Chief Executive of leading kinship care charity, relative relationshipspeak:
The publication of the first National Kinship Care Strategy is an important recognition of the vital role kinship carers play in transforming the experiences of hundreds of thousands of children who have been overlooked and undervalued. low price for too long.
We are delighted that there will now be more support for extended families than ever before. This is a testament to all the kinship caregivers who have demonstrated, for decades, the value of raising children within their family networks. At Kinship, we are proud to have campaigned alongside so many of them as they have fought for long overdue change.
More than 130,000 children live in kinship care in England and kinship carers make up more than a fifth of all foster carers. There are also a variety of other formal and informal avenues for extended family members to provide additional support to children in kinship care arrangements, including special guardianships.
The strategy offers a range of additional supports for kinship carers, from new training and information to better understand their rights to high-quality peer support in local communities.
A key commitment in the government’s wider children’s social care strategy is to improve working relationships between all relevant agencies, including police, health and education .
That is why the government has today also updated its guidance “Working together to protect children”. This guidance clarifies the roles and responsibilities of safeguarding partners such as local authorities and police, sets out new child protection standards and sets out the importance of having a multi-agency response important to protect children from harm.
The Government has published a national framework for children’s social care, setting out the core principles and objectives of children’s social care. This will ensure all organizations involved have a shared understanding of what a children’s social care service will deliver for the families and children it supports.
The data collected about children and their families and the information recorded about their lives and interactions with children’s social care is very sensitive and needs to be handled carefully. It is also held in many places which can create many challenges. That’s why the government is also embarking on an ambitious data transformation in children’s social care. The data strategy published today sets this out and also commits to improving existing data services as well as testing innovative and sensitive approaches in this area.
Today’s updates are another step towards sweeping reforms – providing families with the right help and ensuring children are safe and supported. This is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to reform children’s social care, as outlined in the book ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’ published earlier this year . It sets out how the government will help families overcome challenges, keep children safe and ensure children in care have a stable, loving home, loving lasting relationships and the opportunity to have a good life.
In another step towards implementing the strategy, the government has also started recruiting young people with care experience, including those with disabilities and special educational needs, to the youth advisory board new to advise the government on ongoing reforms.