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At Adopt London, we understand that Special Guardians (also called kinship carers) often need the same support as adopters. We have a wealth of connections, local support services, and networking groups that Special Guardians can tap into and share their experiences.
If you live in or have had a child placed with you from any of our 24 London Boroughs, we can help direct you to local support.
Kinship, formerly known as Grandparents Plus, is the leading kinship care charity and provides emotional, practical support and advice for any friend or family member raising a child full-time because their parents are unable to look after them – kinship carers – regardless of their legal order. Most of the 24 boroughs within Adopt London (Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Hounslow, Islington, Newham, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth) are members of Kinship Membership. This offers all kinship carers, regardless of legal order, including special guardians support with:
- Specialist information and advice – benefits, financial issues, housing, education, legal issues and contact with family members
- Grants for essential items
- Virtual peer support groups to meet other special guardians and kinship carers
- Live advice surgeries on Facebook to answer any queries you may have
- A chat on the phone with one of their trained kinship carer Someone Like Me volunteers
- Membership of their Kinship Community of over 8,000 kinship carers to receive regular e-news about the latest developments in the world of kinship care
If you would like to improve your wellbeing, share your concerns and experiences with other kinship families in the same situation, feel less isolated, and receive help with financial worries, you can get in touch with one of the advice team.
Call on 0300 033 9851 Monday to Thursday 10am to 2pm. Or complete this self-referral form and one of their advisers will get back to you.
Watch their animated film – ‘Something to be proud of’ to see how they help kinship families.
Family Rights Group
The Family Rights Group is a charity that can give advice and information to Special Guardians.
- Offering a free and confidential telephone and digital advice service providing legal and practical advice to families.
- Supporting kinship carers, who are raising a relative or a friend’s child
- The website also has advice sheets for Special Guardians
You can contact them through their website or by Freephone 0808 801 0366
The National Association of Therapeutic Parents
The NATP is a not-for-profit organisation, formed to help families dealing with the difficult behaviour of children who had suffered trauma, and to help with the feelings of isolation, of being blamed, misunderstood, and unsupported.
If you a Special Guardian the NATP can support you and offers a range of benefits including listening circles, telephone consultations, a men’s support group, access to useful resources, a members-only Facebook group, webinars, face to face training, a helpline, and more.
The Kinship Hub
Kinship Hub is a community-based service aimed at supporting kinship carers across London and the UK. Kinship Hub offers free online webinars to kinship carers and children on a range of topics from managing contact safely, to promoting a positive sense of identity, life story work and building resilience. They have recently launched an employability program through their catering company, Kinship Kitchen to provide paid employment opportunities for them through their catering company. They run the Kinship Carers Cooking Club, a weekly group where children and carers can get together and cook a meal from scratch. Plus in-person cooking sessions every month, based in South London.
For further information please visit their website https://www.kinshipcarershub.org/ You can also receive regular updates via their social media accounts Facebook: @kinshiphubLondon, Instagram: @kinship_hub, Twitter: @kinshiphub
Kinship Carers can self-refer at www.kinshipcarershub.org/contact, or can be referred by a social worker or other supporting professional. For more information please contact Anna-Lou Manca on 07792 320 549 or email [email protected].
To receive more information and links to the webinars please email [email protected] or contact Anna-Lou on 07792 320 549.
Local Authority Services
Adopt London have a wealth of education support to offer families with a Special Guardianship Order. This includes advice from The Virtual School, access to information from the Local Offer and the Family Information Service, Pupil Premium Plus to Priority School admissions. Further information is available on our Education page.
If you are a Special Guardian and live in one of the Adopt London West boroughs; Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham or Hounslow, you can use services from PAC UK for confidential counselling and support service (currently virtual) under the Adopt London West’s contract. Adopt London West also run a monthly virtual support group for Special Guardians.
If you are from the Adopt London North boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey and Islington, please visit the Special Guardians North London website.
If you need to speak to a social worker about your child, please contact your Local Authority SGO Team.
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