“Fostering is a well-known term, why isn’t kinship care?”

Jane, kinship carer

A lack of awareness and understanding of kinship care means that kinship families remain unrecognised, undervalued and unsupported.

Raising awareness of the role and challenges kinship families face is one of the first steps to building understanding and support for kinship families.

Kinship Care Week was conceived by the charity, Kinship Carers Liverpool who have always celebrated locally in October, with celebration events and local media outreach. In a 2017 Reimagining Kinship Care social design workshop, kinship carers, social workers, academics, and charities came together to discuss solutions to some of the challenges faced by kinship families. They agreed that an awareness week for kinship families should become a national priority.

In 2018, Kinship (then called Grandparents Plus) joined forces with Kinship Carers Liverpool to deliver Kinship Care Week across England and Wales. They invited members of the Kinship Care Alliance – a group of charities committed to improving the lives of kinship families – to collaborate.

Each year, the week has grown, with charities and local authorities holding celebration activities, placing media stories and running social media campaigns which have reached hundreds of thousands of people. Now in 2021 we are proud to launch this kinshipcareweek.org.uk website and national celebration campaign.

Kinship Care Week puts kinship carers in the spotlight. But it’s not just about one week. We want kinship carers to be recognised, valued and supported all the time.

Everyone can get involved

Whether you are a kinship carer, someone who has grown up in a kinship family, works with kinship families, or just someone who admires what kinship carers do – we want to hear from you.

Kinship carers – tell us about the children you’re so proud of. Or is there a friend, support group or partner that you’d like to thank?
Support groups and charities – share pictures of your celebration events - we'd love to share what everyone’s doing.
Raised in kinship care? Tell us about what your gran, grandad, brother or aunty means to you.
Do you work with kinship families? Now’s your chance to thank the kinship carers in your area for the difficult job they do.

It’s up to you how you say it

A video, a few words, a photo, a poem, a song! Don’t worry if it’s a little ‘rough around the edges’, it’s about saying a few heartfelt words about someone or something that matters to you.

Submit your message, which can be shared with thousands on the Kinship Care Week website and on social media during the week.

We hear so many stories of kindness and sacrifice amongst the kinship community – some big, some small, so get involved and help us share them with the world!

Want to know more about kinship care?

Kinship carers are the incredible people who step up to raise relatives or friends’ children when their parents can’t. Still largely unrecognised compared to adopters and foster carers but raising more children – 200,000 across England and Wales, and giving them the love and stability of a family that they can flourish in.  Very often poorly supported financially, practically and emotionally due to a lack of government legislation and investment in kinship care, they still choose to turn their lives upside down to give challenging children a loving home and bright future.

Find out more about kinship care.

Submit your Message