Kinship Care Week 2017: 24th-30th April

Shining a light on the dedication and commitment of the thousands of kinship carers who give children and young people a safe, loving and stable home.


Guest blog: Melanie Onn MP

Click here to read about Melanie’s experience of growing up in kinship care.

Guest blog: Frances Rowan

Click here to read about Frances’ experience of becoming a carer to her cousin’s two daughters.

Hear Frances’ story in this video:

Keeping families together

Across the UK between 200,000 and 300,000 children and young people are being cared for by a relative or close friend, due to a range of difficult family circumstances, including bereavement, family breakdown, abuse or neglect. Reliable estimates suggest that two thirds (67%) of these children are being looked after because their parents have experienced difficulties related to drug and alcohol misuse.

 Kinship care is the most common form of non-parental care for children who are unable to live with their parents in England. Kinship Care Week offers an opportunity to recognise the selfless work of kinship carers, raise awareness of kinship care in the community, and promote best practice among kinship care professionals.

Mentor has worked with hundreds of kinship care families to help them access the resources they need and to develop ways in which carers and children can be better supported in the community. With your help, we can reach even more kinship carers, ensuring they have access to the advice and support networks that are vital to their wellbeing and success.

Please join us during Kinship Care Week to celebrate and show your support for these carers.

Mentor’s Heather McVeigh on how professionals can support kinship care families:

Kinship carers are incredibly selfless, and often don’t get the recognition they deserve. In many cases, they are the only stable people in these young people's lives - they do everything they can to keep their family together.

Melanie Onn MP

When Ann took on the care of her two young granddaughters after her daughter died, she was overwhelmed by her new responsibilities. She didn’t know how she would manage their day-to-day care as well as meet their complex emotional needs and cope with her own loss of her daughter. After speaking to a qualified family support worker at Mentor, Ann felt able to tackle her new situation. It was reassuring for her to find Mentor helps lots of families just like hers. Before long, she was part of a support network that helped make life easier for her and her granddaughters.

April 30: Mentor’s BBC R4 Charity Appeal

The week will culminate in a BBC Radio 4 charity appeal broadcast, presented by Baroness Susan Greenfield, who is a Mentor Ambassador and a professor of neuroscience. Susan Greenfield sees the pressures on young people and she makes the Radio 4 appeal for Mentor UK and its support for kinship carers of vulnerable young people.

When to tune in:

  •   Sunday 30 April at 7:55am or 9:26pm
  •   Thursday 4 May at 3:27pm

If you miss the live broadcast, you can catch up online from the Radio 4 website.

Mentor brings kinship families together. We support families through any initial crisis and in the long-term give them the confidence to provide a loving stable family for their children.

Baroness Susan Greenfield

Kinship carers make huge personal sacrifices to care for children who have often experienced terrible loss or trauma. It is essential that we make sure these families get the advice and support they need as early as possible.

Michael O'Toole