Hi, I’m Charlotte, Senior Campaigns Officer at Kinship.
Kinship is a national charity that provides support and guidance for kinship carers. When a child can no longer live with their parents and a friend or relative steps in, that is kinship care. Kinship carers provide stability, comfort and familiarity to a child often when they need it most.
Despite there being over 200,000 kinship carers and 1 in 50 children in the North East being in kinship care, for the majority of people ‘kinship care’ is still not recognised, not acknowledged and barely talked about. Receiving little to no support from the government and local authorities, kinship carers often feel invisible and forgotten.
This is not okay, and it needs to change.
Kinship Campaigners is a brand-new project by national charity, Kinship which aims to bring about that change. Bringing campaigning to the North East, the project will enable kinship carers to fight against the injustices within kinship care to create change in an outdated system. Building on the strong networks and relationship we already have in the North East, we are going to use the collective power of kinship carers to amplify their voices to raise awareness and lobby for change within kinship care.
We are creating a network of kinship carers from the North East who want to campaign. These carers will have the opportunity to become campaign leaders who will then form the foundations of the campaign network and become instrumental in mobilising people to take action.
But, the campaign leaders need to feel comfortable with campaigning. That is why we will be providing training to make sure anyone involved in the project is knowledgeable, skilled and most importantly confident as a campaigner. We will also be developing resources all designed to make sure that campaigning for change can be as simple and accessible as possible. There is also the option to get involved as a campaign supporter, joining in events, spreading the word and sharing campaign actions.
Throughout the project Kinship Campaigners will be supported by myself and the training and resources produced will change to reflect the wants and needs of those involved.
The project is putting kinship carers at the heart of campaigning. Their voices will shape and define the campaign goals that will be worked on collectively. Through the creation of a network of Kinship Campaigners, the project will build strong campaign leaders who understand how to harness their collective power to produce impactful campaigns on issues they really care about.
The first Kinship Campaigners meeting is taking place this Friday, 8 October as part of Kinship Care Week. We will be chatting about why we bother campaigning and the changes we want to see in kinship care.
No prior campaigning knowledge is needed, just a passion for wanting to make a change and see some action within kinship care!