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New support service for family members raising children to come to Bromley

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 April 2018

A family who attended one of the fun days organised by Kinship Connected. Picture: Paul Heaps

A family who attended one of the fun days organised by Kinship Connected. Picture: Paul Heaps

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A new support service for grandparents and other family members raising children as ‘kinship carers’ is coming to Bromley.

Louise Baker, Maxine Campbell and Kate O�Brien from Grandparents Plus. Picture: Jane RussellLouise Baker, Maxine Campbell and Kate O�Brien from Grandparents Plus. Picture: Jane Russell

It’s estimated that there are nearly 700 children in Bromley who are living with family members or friends because their parents aren’t able to care for them, most commonly due to drug or alcohol misuse, bereavement, abuse, neglect or imprisonment.

Family members step in to stop children going into local authority care, with many caring for children under Special Guardianship Orders, but can find it very difficult to find support, with around 70pc reporting feelings of isolation.

Just one in 10 carers nationally feel like they’re getting the support they need.

Run by national kinship care charity Grandparents Plus and commissioned by the local authority, the service, called Kinship Connected, will provide one to one support and develop peer support groups for carers throughout the borough.

Ade Adetosoye OBE, deputy chief executive and executive director of education, care and health services for Bromley, said: “We’re very excited to be commissioning the ‘Kinship Connected’ service through Grandparents Plus to bring support to people in Bromley who look after family members under Special Guardianship orders.

“Here in Bromley, we are focused on finding permanent homes for children and we already know how crucial Special Guardians are to this mission.

“So supporting our kinship carers really makes sense.

“We’re committed to making sure that Special Guardians are seen in the same light as foster carers and adopters – caring for and keeping our children safe.

“Generally, they need similar support and we believe that Kinship Connected can offer that support to help Bromley children get the best out of life, no matter their circumstances.”

Kate O’Brien from Grandparents Plus said: “Being a kinship carer can be extremely challenging, and having the right kind of support and the opportunity to meet others in the same situation can make all the difference.

“We’re really pleased the local authority has made this possible.

“If you’re a kinship carer, or know anyone who is, we’d love to hear from you.”

Kinship carers can get involved by contacting Grandparents Plus on 020 8981 8001, or register at www.grandparentsplus.org.uk/kinship-connected.

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