While getting to know kinship carers and the children they care for, we have discovered that the vast majority have identified that they want to meet and socialise with other families in similar circumstances.
Over the summer, the workers at Relative Experience organised two fun days out at the local beach so that the adults and children could come together to have some fun and share experiences.
The days were a great success – the children had great fun and were able to play with and get to know other children who are being brought up by a family member other than their parents. We all got involved in a ‘treasure hunt’, splashing around in the sea, building sandcastles and generally enjoying the beautiful weather and all the adventure a day by the seaside brings.
The days went so well that we hope to organise more ‘get togethers’ so that others can gain the peer support they need. Everyone had a great time. “It was really good to meet others in the same situation and also for the bairn to be able to meet and play with other kin-kids … it gave me a chance to socialise with others and feel less isolated,” said Nicola, a volunteer with the project.
Leena , another volunteer, agreed. “The kids were able to come out their shell, which is something they don’t normally do, but they really like the staff.”
“It was good meeting new people and the kids meeting other kids they can relate to because of their situation,” said Pam. “Because everyonethere was in the same situation it made it a really nice atmosphere.”
“It was a great day and there should be more opportunities like this,” said Stella. And Dahleen added: “Meeting other kinship carers who are in the same boat as you, who have similar problems, as you don’t really meet them. The bairn really enjoyed himself too!”
Posted by Jenny Mckenna, Project Officer