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Family and Friends Care Summer newsletter

Family and friends carers (also known as kinship carers) are relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, older brothers or sisters and also friends who are raising children who are unable to live safely with their parents.


Family and friends carers – we need to hear from you about your views and experiences

Major new survey – please can all family and friends carers complete this

This survey will help fill research and policy gaps about family and friends care and greatly assist Family Rights Group, on behalf of the Kinship Care Alliance, to campaign to secure a better deal for family and friends carers. Importantly, the survey will help us to show policy makers how proposed welfare reforms will impact upon family and friends carers and the children they are raising. There are also questions about special guardianship which will inform our response to the review (see below). Please can all family and friends carers please complete this survey – it will take you 15-30 minutes.

Survey for family and friends carers in London interested in joining a support group

Family Rights Group is carrying out a short survey of family and friends carers living in London or raising a child from London. We'd like to find out if you are interested in joining a family and friends care support group and if so, what you'd hope to gain from attending. We will use the findings to inform a funding bid that we are submitting to develop support groups in London. It will take you 5 minutes.


Government Consultations

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Government Special Guardianship Review

The Government is currently undertaking a review of special guardianship. A special guardian is someone who has a Special Guardianship Order for a child. It is a legal order that enables a child to live permanently with someone other than their parents, normally a relative or long term foster carer. These legal orders have now been available for ten years and there has been a rise in their use in recent years, for younger as well as older children. 

We sit on the review's ‘experts’ panel and have successfully pushed for the review to include consideration of the support needs of children raised under a special guardianship order.   

The Government has now issued a public consultation document on special guardianship – the closing date is the 18th September and will inform proposals for reform.  The document asks:

  1. Whether the legal and practice framework on special guardianship needs to change and if so how?
  2. What factors are taken into account when considering special guardianship?
  3. Whether the assessment of suitability to become a special guardian could be improved and if so how?
  4. What type of support is needed by special guardians, the children they are raising and birth parents?
  5. What best practice helps special guardianship to be successful?

Family Rights Group is preparing a response on behalf of the Kinship Care Alliance and we want to hear from you to inform what we say:

  1. If you are a special guardian please do complete the first survey above, which will inform our response to the review
  2. We are also interested in hearing from parents whose children are subject to a special guardianship order, young people themselves under a special guardianship order and lawyers, social workers and other practitioners working in this field.  You can email your thoughts about any of the questions above to

We will publish our response on the website by the 11th September.

Also please do respond to the Government’s consultation directly, telling the Government about your experience and what you think needs to be changed if anything. The consultation document is quite straightforward and you will find it here:  
Knowledge and skills and accreditation of child and family social work supervisors and practice leaders

The Department for Education has sought views on the knowledge and skills that practice supervisors and practice leaders in child and family social work should have. The statements will be used together with the knowledge and skills statement for Approved Child and Family Practitioners (published Nov 2014), to develop a national assessment and accreditation system for child and family social workers. 

We have been holding workshops with parents and also family and friends carers to find out their views. You can download our submission on the knowledge and skills statements from our website.


Family and Friends Care Parliamentary Reception

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Family Rights Group is holding a parliamentary reception from 1.00pm-2.30pm on the 13th October 2015. Light lunch will be provided. It will be hosted by Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, our patron, who was brought up by his older sister when his mother died. The reception is an opportunity to raise awareness amongst politicians, including MPs that were newly elected at the General Election, about kinship care and the need for improvements in support for the children and their carers.

Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families and Alison O’Sullivan, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services have been invited to speak.

We are keen to have family and friends carers and young people raised in family and friends care at the reception from many different parliamentary constituencies. Regretfully we have no funding for the event so we cannot pay for fares or childcare costs. However, if you wish to attend please email or phone Kim Bryan on 0207 923 2628 informing us of your name, your relationship to the child/ren e.g grandmother (or whether you are a young person in family and friends care) and the parliamentary constituency in which you live (if you don’t know it, just let us know the name of your local authority).

Advice for family and friend carers

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Family Rights Group website contains a wealth of advice resources for family and friends carers including:

Become a FRG Supporter

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By joining the Family Rights Group Supporters’ Network and making a donation, no matter how big or small, you can make a crucial contribution to our work. There has never been a greater demand for our service - but at the same time never greater pressure on our limited resources, and every supporter and any size of donation will make a significant difference. 

Join Now


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Family Rights Group
The Print House
18 Ashwin Street
London, England E83DL

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