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An introduction to the Kinship Caring Experience

 I know there are over 15000 children in Kinship/Foster care in Scotland alone and I have worked closely with various official bodies regar...

Saturday, 15 February 2014

An introduction to the Kinship Caring Experience

 I know there are over 15000 children in Kinship/Foster care in Scotland alone and I have worked closely with various official bodies regarding child development and child Trauma, as well as foster and kinship care.  I am currently studying Applied Psychology  BSc and have come to understand these aspects, along with many others, a lot more than I used too.

I have come to learn that there are many different Psychological aspects to Kinship caring that are not anything like foster caring.  As a foster carer you have little or no direct involvement with extended family members.  As a foster carer you have the support of social services continually.  Now I mean no insult here as I truly respect everything foster carers do and this is only being used to highlight the following difference between Foster and Kinship care.  The difference being that as Kinship carers however, there are no cut and dry routes to psychological support.  As Kinship carers, you are not only supporting a child you are dealing with all extended family as well.

This can be quite daunting, especially were the child's removal from the parent was not amicable.  Initially the Kinship carer is left to pick up the pieces of other family members as well as supply a new home and reparative caring  for a child who is feeling insecure in this new place, unsure of there new surroundings and often confused about why they are there.  There are countless questions thrown at Kinship carers from family members and many answers given by them are accepted.  Many however are not, creating cross questioning and repeat questioning.  Kinship carers are not qualified, in any way, to deal with this type of pressure but many find they have no support to fall back on for this.

Glasgow has no hard and fast guidelines for this sort of support and it is only over the last year that Edinburgh began running a pilot support scheme for kinship carers aimed at specifically helping to advise and guide kinship carers as they deal with the situation, thankfully the funding for this has been extended. They help carers understand the legal processes and deal with the psychological impact throughout the whole process.  This support is limited to very  few families however so I thought that by creating this blog, it may give some support to the Kinship carers out there that cant find what they are looking for.

I hope to give you the most informative information on what to expect form the child you are caring for.  I will also be bringing some Psychological insight into how to deal with family members throughout the process you are taken through as a Kinship carer.

I hope you find something here that will help you through the many different aspects of Kinship care and look forward to hearing some of your thoughts.