Working directly with kinship carers across the country in their homes, communities and through our advice service, our team helps kinship families work through problems, understand their choices and make positive decisions for the whole family.
Meet our advice team
Our advice team delivers advice and guidance via phone, email and social media. They’re on hand daily to offer advice and support. They also research and develop information for our digital channels, including the website.
Elaine McHarrie, advice and information service manager
“My goal is to support the Advice Team to continually offer the best service to kinship carers, providing reliable, sound and accurate information at all times.” read Elaine’s full bio
Since graduating in 1999 with a BA (Hons) in Social Policy, while bringing up 2 young children alone, I realised that my passion, commitment and enthusiasm lies with supporting families. I have continuously developed my understanding and qualifications to met these needs within the area of advice and guidance. This includes working with other charities, the Ministry of Defence and within the Education sector.
I love spending time with my three grandsons, spending time outdoors and travelling to new places.
Nicola Kerr, senior advice worker
“I’m extremely passionate about making sure our kinship carers are able to access free information and advice so they don’t suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights.” read Nicola’s full bio
I have 17 years’ experience of working in the advice sector. I started working for Kinship as an advice worker in 2015 and have been a senior advice worker since 2018.
I previously worked as a specialist welfare rights adviser for the Citizens Advice Bureau; representing service users in appealing many types of welfare benefit cases. Previous to that I was a generalist adviser providing general advice including, housing, debt, consumer, family, community care and benefits. I have also worked as a detached youth worker, befriending young people on the streets providing informal education to on a one to one basis and in group environments.
I’m extremely passionate about making sure our kinship carers are able to access free information and advice so they don’t suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights. I’m also passionate about making change through social policy so that kinship carers don’t have to suffer in the future.
I love to travel and be outdoors, preferably by the sea and I’m crazy about VW split screen campervans!
Meet our peer support team
Our peer support team currently works across England recruiting and supporting peer support group volunteers, providing online chat and free online workshops.
Sarah Clarke, associate director of peer support
“What I love about Kinship is the level of passion that everyone shares to make a difference for kinship carers and the children they are looking after.” read Sarah’s full bio
I’m Sarah and I joined Kinship in February 2022. I oversee the Peer-to-Peer Support Service for kinship carers.
My career has focussed on building and improving services that enable people to live well in their community. I’ve worked at large and small charities, as well as a local authority. Most recently I worked at Versus Arthritis, where I supported the scale up of evidence based programmes and collaborated with commissioners and healthcare leaders to improve NHS services for people living with musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain. I also volunteer at a local environmental social enterprise as chair of the board of trustees.
What I love about Kinship is the level of passion that everyone shares to make a difference for kinship carers and the children they are looking after.
Karen Hamilton, head of volunteering and peer support
“I believe services should be done by and with local people and not done to or for them.” read Karen’s full bio
Karen has worked in the voluntary sector for many years, developing and leading programmes and policy, focusing on empowering individuals and communities to overcome challenges. She has delivered and managed numerous community programmes, including those for disabled people, young care leavers, isolated older people, homeless people, people with mental health support needs and unemployed people. Previously she has set up a national falls prevention dance programme and worked for organisations including FoodCycle, Age UK and Volunteering Matters.
All of the programmes Karen has developed have involved volunteers. She is passionate about volunteering and user-led community development – giving people a say in how to improve their local communities and supporting them to have a role in doing so.
“I believe services should be done by and with local people and not done to or for them.”
Meet our programmes team
Our programmes teams currently work across England and Wales. They manage all project workers and work alongside other professionals in the community, including local authorities.
Katrina Jenkins, associate director of programmes
“Katrina is Associate Director of Programmes with Kinship, supporting the growth, development and evidencing of Kinship’s programmes.” read Katrina’s full bio
Katrina is Associate Director of Programmes with Kinship, supporting the growth, development and evidencing of Kinship’s programmes. She brings a strong background in the mental health sector, programmes delivery, scaling and governance. Driven to address inequalities to promote positive outcomes for all families, Katrina brings a wealth of experience in tailoring preventative solutions to meet the needs of a diverse range of families. She draws on expertise in co-production and a knowledge of the evidence base for what works to support the needs of children and families who have experienced significant life challenges. Her work has focused on leading national teams to develop systemic solutions that reduce barriers for families in seeking the support they need, and to inform service development that provides impactful support and advocacy for families and communities.
Vickie Grey, regional programmes manager for the North of England
Fiona Summers, regional programmes manager for the South of England
“Fiona is passionate about supporting families to ensure they receive the right support at the right time.” read Fiona’s full bio
Fiona joined Kinship in April 2023 and holds responsibility for ensuring high quality and impactful programme delivery in the South. Previously, Fiona has managed services in both local authority children’s social care, as well as commissioned family support services in the voluntary sector.
Fiona is an analytical thinker with a proven track record of managing outcomes-focussed and highly successful commissioned services. Fiona is passionate about supporting families to ensure they receive the right support at the right time.
Meet our digital team
Yeen Lau, senior digital project manager
“I love my role because of the people I work with – their commitment and initiative are second to none.” read Yeen’s full bio
Hello, I’m Yeen. I manage digital projects for Kinship, for example delivering Kinship Compass and the digital touchpoints of our services.
I have been managing projects and products for publishers, non-profits and digital agencies for over 10 years. I love collaborating and building teams that are skilled and passionate about what they do.
I was born and raised in Malaysia, living in Bristol now. You will often find me with a coffee cup in hand. When I’m not working I love cooking, hiking, and visiting art galleries.