A week of activities has been held to celebrate the work of kinship carers, allowing families to raise awareness of an important issue.
Kinship care is when a family member or close friend step in to look after a child who can no longer live with their parents due to death, imprisonment or addiction.
The number of children going into care is rising, and so councils across the country are struggling to cope with all the youngsters in need of support.
In turn, foster families are becoming increasingly sought after, leading Kinship Care Liverpool to draw up plans to shed light on the work of their charity.
Pauline Thornley, Kinship Care project manager, told JMU Journalism: “Since 2016, there has been a 46% increase of kinship placements. Without those families the local authority would collapse.
YouTube: Kinship Care NI
“How much would that cost the local authority if all these children were in the system and had to be found foster care placements? Our kinship carers are an army of carers that we undervalue and do not support enough. It would lead to a decrease in costs, and of course a better outcome for families too.”
Pauline added: “We really need to invest more, as a nation, into kinship carers. We’ve seen the rise, and now, that’s where a charity like ours starts to get savvy and ask the question, well how do we support these amazing people?”
Kinship Carers Liverpool have been playing host to a range of events this week, including galas, high tea and a kin-kids party.
National Fostering Week is a related celebration, but many people don’t know what kinship care is and workers in Liverpool created their own celebratory week three years ago.
Pauline said: “This is what kinship care is about. Let’s grab that, let’s celebrate it and let’s raise awareness.”