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Kinship Carers pave the way for policy changes

Outside the Houses of Parliament with Stephen Twigg MP

Kinship Carers Liverpool have had a crucial role in a recent Parliamentary Task Force looking into kinship care, in light of the Care Crisis Review.

The Task Force aims to raise awareness, support children in kinship care, and highlight the importance of this option for children who are unable to live with their parents. The North West Task Force was led by Kinship Carers Liverpool in the Cunard Building, bringing kinship families together and allowing them to feed into this crucial discussion via local MPs.

Professionally, the organisation have added to the debate, sharing the piece of work they completed with Baring Funding last year. This has been sent to Liverpool City Council, as well as the Director of Children’s Services in England and Wales, to gather evidence from local authorities on what is working well, and the identify gaps in provision for kinship families.

On 1st July, Kinship Carers took a group of their young people down to London, to meet with MPs in Westminster and contribute to the Parliamentary Task Force. As the only group of young people in the country to do this, they had a very important task in getting the message across to the MPs and Lords in attendance.

Pauline Thornley from Kinship Carers Liverpool said: ‘Our young people were fab! They really articulated themselves well… It was very emotional - young people sharing their stories - but this was really important in getting the message across. It gave the MPs and Lords who attended some real solutions that would prevent other young people from going through the same experiences.’

Liverpool is on its way to becoming a UNICEF UK Child Friendly City, meaning that children are able to have a say about the decisions that affect them, are able to express their views freely, have access to good health and education, and feel safe and protected from discrimination. The work that Kinship Carers have been doing with young people is helping the city on this journey, and the organisation is seen as a beacon of good practice around the country in working with kinship families.

Kinship Carers were recently involved in a project with the Bluecoat, ‘In The Palm of My Hand’, a powerful piece performed by some of the families they support, to highlight their important role and the issues that they face. A documentary on the film can be accessed via the Bluecoat website.

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