‘Relative Experience’ Project Launch. Thursday 14 th February 2013. Welcome from the Chair Lyn Boyd CEO, Mental Health North East. Introduction of the Relative Experience Project Sam Smethers CEO, Grandparents Plus. What do children in kinship care need?.
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Thursday 14th February 2013
CEO, Mental Health North East
Relative Experience Project
CEO, Grandparents Plus
Influencing Local Authority policies and improving service responses to their identified needs
Loss of self, isolation, fear, uncertainty and feelings of powerlessness
Lack of support
Lack of knowledge
Independent support and campaigning network with a focus upon grandparents who are caring for children as a result of parental drug and alcohol misuse.
Meeting up with this group was a god send to me. I know I can pick up the phone and speak to someone
I am not alone any more, the support, the advice, the friendship have been a great source of help and encouragement for me
1 year project till end June 2013
Focus upon grandparents who are in kinship arrangements due to parental substance misuse or addiction
Train carers from CDAN to carry out research using First Contact Clinical’s Peer Based Researcher training programme
South of Tyne and Wear (SoTW) case study
What is the extent of the kinship care?
What types of supports and services are needed?
Does the LA policy and practice support grandparents and children?
What support services and good practice examples exist and where are the gaps?
LAs recognise Kinship Carer needs and reflect research findings in policy (SoTW)
Stronger partnership working developed
Research process recognised as good practice
Contribution to national lobbying
Support networks created in SoTW
CDAN carers gain research skills and confidence
Despite a statutory requirement 38% (5) of local authorities in NE did not have a Family and Friends carers policy in place
In NE the only robust consultation is within Sunderland (pilot action research) – this has national recognition
Changing national policy landscape e.g. 26 week limit and Legal Aid limitations
Kinship Carers in Northumberland, Tyneside and parts of Teesside
Dearth of specialist support in South Tyneside and Gateshead
No recognition in own right by Carers’ Centres locally or nationally
No consistency of financial support
“If all of us grandparents put all of the grandchildren on the doorsteps of social services, just for one day, they would not know what to do; they would be inundated with children. I don’t think they really know how many children are being looked after. There is not the emotional support there and there is not the financial support – there is definitely not.”
policies and practices of North Tyneside Council
Safeguarding Operations Manager,
North Tyneside Council
Safeguarding Operations Manager
Children & young people should, whenever possible be placed with family members or connected persons
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