Grandparents Plus has joined forces with leading family charities Family Lives and the Family and Parenting Institute to launch an exciting new peer support project in North East England.
Funded by the Big Lottery Fund Silver Dreams Fund, The Relative Experience Project will offer support with children’s behaviour and development to grandparents and other family members who are raising a relative’s child. Focusing on the Newcastle and North Tyneside region, the project will support grandparents and kinship carers over the age of 50. Older volunteers – who may be kinship carers or grandparents themselves – will be recruited, trained and matched to families needing extra support.
You can also read more about the project at our dedicated blog RelativeExperience which will give everyone involved in this unique project the opportunity to share their experiences, whether they are kinship carers, volunteers, or part of the project team.
“We know from members of our existing support network that raising kinship children can be much more challenging,” said Project Manager Alison Blaxland. “It isn’t simply that kinship carers tend to be older – there is also strong evidence to suggest that many kinship children have complex needs which can make caring for them more challenging.”
In a recent Grandparents Plus survey, the idea of home support with families provided by trained volunteers was well received. Two thirds of respondents had sought professional help with meeting their kinship children’s needs, but only one third found the advice and support helpful. “My eight-year-old grandson can’t attend an anger management course for another two years but he needs it now,” said one grandmother.
Project partners Family Lives will develop and deliver training for the volunteers and will provide on-going support. The Family and Parenting Institute will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the pilot project, which has been funded for 18 months.
If you live in the North East and would be interested in getting involved in the project please contact Project Worker Jenny Mckenna – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07904 675021.
Download Relative Experience briefing paper.