Grandparents and other family members who are raising a relative’s child will soon have the support of trained volunteers as the new Relative Experience Project gets underway in the North East of England.
Thanks to the support of the Big Lottery Fund Silver Dreams Fund, which is particularly focussed on those aged over 50, the Project marks a new partnership between national charities Grandparents Plus, Family Lives and the Family and Parenting Institute.
Grandparents Plus has supported grandparents and wider family members raising a relative’s child (know as kinship carers) for several years through a support network which organises events and produces a regular newsletter. Family Lives bring the expertise of dealing with children’s behaviour and training volunteers; and the Family and Parenting Institute will monitor and evaluate the Project.
The first step is to recruit the Project Worker who will join the Grandparents Plus team but will be based in the North East. Then Family Lives will recruit the final team member, Volunteer Development Officer, who will also be based in their Newcastle office.
Once they are in post the team will start spreading the word across the North East and start working with volunteers and kinship carers in the region to develop a training course which will cover the main concerns raised by kinship families following consultation by Grandparents Plus.
I’ll be managing the project on behalf of Grandparents Plus, so am looking forward to interviewing for our Project Worker later in the month. We’ve had a lot of applications so I’m sure we’ll find the right person to guide the project forward.
Posted by Alison Blaxland