Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

How can we improve support to Grandparent Kinship Carers?

(6 Posts)
studenthv Wed 03-Oct-12 15:10:15

I'm sure you are all to busy to reply to this..... but here goes

Hi I'm a Student Health Visitor, doing a year long project on grandparents and Kinship Care.

If anyone has any feelings or thoughts on how the Health Visitor can better support you in caring for children aged 0-5 I'd be very grateful.

I've worked with lots of Grandparents but would appreciate a few more views.

Are there popular areas of advice that people have needed at the start of a Kinship care placement. Or is support needed further down the line?

Thank you very much I know how busy you are.

JessM Wed 03-Oct-12 16:23:49

"Kinship care placement" - new jargon round here - presume you are getting at grandparents caring full time for their grandchildren

Littlenellie Wed 03-Oct-12 19:45:52

I am a kinship carer and have been since 2004 my granddaughter then 4 is now 13 ,my views would be support emotional as well, as financial,we get left alone to cope with all aspects of the placement,wether are are financially or e motion ally able to cope with this,often coerced by police and social workers as the only people able to do this,who at once dissapear leaving us to cope without any support at all,we then get vetted and our life becomes a gold fish bowl,while we struggle to cope with a child that has emotional issues without any support at all.
Financial support has to be fought for as different county councils deal differently
With kinshipcarers...laugh and the world laughs with you care and you are on your own!!.

Nelliemoser Wed 03-Oct-12 20:37:11

Littlenellie Your assessment of the "support" from social services in your circumstances is unfortunately accurate. The lack of resources mean that Childrens services are only too glad to "offload" a child they have had involvement with to a concerned and caring relative.

There is now a strong professional and legal "best practice" assumption that kinship care is the best option for a child.

Its a cheap option for the department and it plays, perhaps cynically, on the love the carer has for their kin. The carer takes on a lot of extra financial commitment very often with little extra financial support.

There is usually little other long term support for a child who has probably experienced a great deal of trauma in its past. These past difficulties often come to the fore when the child reaches puberty by which time social services have "washed their hands of the situation."

I think the situation with regard to extra finanacial support to a relative willing to care is a mine field. Children's services seem to play charades about not directly asking relative to take a child, in case the department is then deemed to have placed the child, thus being open to being financially liable. the child to the carer.
Good luck

studenthv Wed 03-Oct-12 20:40:31

Thank you Littlenellie really helpful. I'm holding a talk for professionals next week this is really useful.

Littlenellie Wed 03-Oct-12 20:54:09

In a nutshell nelliem xxx