Kinship is thrilled to announce the launch of Kinship Compass, our new online information, advice and support hub for kinship carers across England and Wales.
Created with input from hundreds of kinship carers, Kinship Compass aims to address the challenges kinship carers face accessing information and support relevant to their specific circumstances.
The online hub adapts to the needs and preferences of each kinship carer, providing practical tailored information and advice in a format which works for them – from an online advice finder and free workshops to a new one-to-one advice booking system. It helps kinship carers access emotional support through peer support groups, online peer chat and a telephone listening service, all of which are facilitated by kinship carers.
Kinship’s Cost of Loving Survey (October 2022) found 7 in 10 kinship carers didn’t receive any information about being a kinship carer from their Local Authority before or directly after their child moved in, and 78% of kinship carers do not feel they are currently getting the support they need from their Local Authority to help them meet the needs of their kinship child.
Using Kinship Compass, kinship carers can sign up for free online training delivered by Kinship on topics tailored to their circumstances or book an appointment to speak to an expert adviser. They can chat online with a trained kinship carer, match with a ‘Someone Like Me’ kinship carer volunteer and discover peer support groups for kinship carers in their area using a postcode search.
Kinship’s Director of Programmes, Emma Wrafter said: “As the leading charity supporting kinship carers in England and Wales, we know that becoming a kinship carer is often an overwhelming experience. Many find it a struggle to access information and support that’s relevant to their circumstances or where they live. Kinship families have told us that navigating a complex system alongside confusing jargon is even more scary and isolating.
“We designed a ‘one-stop’ online hub for kinship carers that is incredibly easy to use. By answering a few simple questions about their situation, they can quickly find the help they need, whether it is peer support, advice or something more practical.
“For Kinship Compass to work effectively for every stage of the kinship care journey, it was vital that kinship carers contributed their thoughts and ideas throughout the design process. We are so grateful for the many kinship carers who invested their time and experience.
“Social workers are already finding Kinship Compass an invaluable resource to signpost kinship families towards and we are seeing that the support families find through Kinship Compass is transforming the lives of kinship carers and the children they are raising.”
Kinship carer Keith from Southport said: “If you’re a kinship carer, this is the one place you need to go for information and support. I have personally found it extremely helpful and a great resource to refer others to, whatever their circumstances.”
Kinship Compass is funded by the National Lottery Digital Fund with support from the Department for Education. Kinship worked with digital service design agency, TPXimpact to deliver the hub.
Melissa Eaglesfield, Deputy Director, UK Portfolio from The National Lottery Digital Fund said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we are proud to be supporting Kinship to transform the way they support carers and families using digital innovation. This new service will help kinship carers overcome the challenges they face in accessing the help, advice and support they urgently need at each step of their care journey.”
As the leading kinship care charity in England and Wales, we provide independent and expert advice, information and support to all kinship carers, regardless of their placement type, and campaigns for greater recognition and support for kinship families.
To discover Kinship Compass, visit compass.kinship.org.uk
Tuesday 18 April 2023