Grandparents Plus supports kinship carers in their homes and communities, giving advice and helping them work through problems to find the best way forward.
The charity connects carers together in its national community and network of local support groups, so they don't have to face the fight alone. It helps professionals understand kinship families and improves support for them.
And through research, Grandparents Plus campaigns to make sure kinship care is understood and the government knows what changes are needed.
What is Kinship Care?
Kinship care almost always begins in crisis, with a child whose parents are no longer able to care for them. Instinctively, a loved one steps in - a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or family friend. They are now a kinship carer, bringing up the children they love.
Kinship care is life-changing and challenging and there's usually no chance to prepare. Plans are pushed aside. Relationships, jobs and savings are sacrificed. Yet kinship carers do it without a thought for themselves because they put the children first. Kinship carers in the UK are raising over 200,000 children.
One of the key resources which players of People Postcode's Lottery helps fund is the specialist kinship care advice service, a crucial resource for carers at all stages of their kinship journeys.
Kinship carers have left some very positive feedback about this service, with most saying they would recommend this service to other kinship carers. One kinship carer said, "Thanks so much, you can't understand how much this will change and make things easier for us, forever grateful."
Another kinship carer added, "Please could you thank all who deal with the grants for helping me and my family, we appreciate it. But most of all thank you for taking time talking to me and doing what you can."
This week, the charity is celebrating Kinship Care Week which runs from Monday 5th to Sunday 11th October.
Kinship Care Week aims to increase understanding and recognition of the role of kinship carers. It also draws attention to the challenges faced by kinship carers, and importantly, it's an opportunity to thank kinship carers for the incredible job they do.