Kinship carers, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends, play an important role in the community by providing a supportive and stable home environment for children who may have experienced difficulties or disruptions in their lives. Kinship care arrangements can help prevent children from entering the foster care system, helping to minimise stigmatise of being in care (Rose, Taylor, Di Folco, Dupin, Mithen and Wen, 2022).
In addition, kinship carers can help maintain strong family ties and a sense of continuity for the child, which can have positive impacts on their sense of identity and well-being. Kinship carers also play an important role in preserving a child’s cultural connection, sense of belonging and maintaining connections to community.
Furthermore, grandparents, other family members and family friends who provide kinship care can serve as positive role models and contribute to the community by passing on their values, skills, and cultural heritage to the next generation. Kinship care can also promote intergenerational relationships and support, which can benefit the entire community.
Kinship Carers have invaluable experience for other families in community. This support is inclusive of both emotional and practical support.
Kinship carers can share their experiences of kinship care with other families. This can help families to better understand the challenges and rewards of kinship care and provide them with insight into what they can expect. They can listen to the concerns of other carers, provide encouragement and support along with sharing tips on how to access resources.
With an understanding of what affects their communities, Kinship carers can advocate for kinship care within their local area and with policymakers. They can help to raise awareness about the benefits of kinship care and advocate for policies and programs that support kinship carers and the children in their care.
Beyond helping other Kinship Carers, they can also connect other families with resources in their community, such as support groups, legal services, or financial assistance programs. By sharing their knowledge and connections, kinship carers make a valuable contribution to children, their families, other carers and communities.
Have you been considering becoming a Kinship Carer? We can work with you and your family to explore the kinship care options. Have a yarn with us today.
KICS Kinship and Foster Care Service (KICS KFC) is a child and young person centred, whole of family focused out of home care service resting on the foundation practice framework of the Family Partnership Model (FPM). This model provides out of home care support while maintaining a whole of family lens focused on wellbeing, attachment and bonding through case management and the application of family led decision making principles. Our team will work collaboratively with the whole family including parents, grandparents and extended family, to secure a stable and enduring kinship and foster care placement while it is required.
Rose, L., Taylor, E. P., Di Folco, S., Dupin, M., Mithen, H., & Wen, Z. (2022). Family dynamics in kinship care. Child & Family Social Work, 27( 4), 635– 645. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12912