Kinship carers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in so many ways. Over the last nine months we have had to adjust to a ‘new normal’; a world full of uncertainty, change, isolation and anxiety. Grandparents Plus have been doing all we can to support kinship care families across England and Wales in this unprecedented time.
Through our Kinship Response programme, dedicated to supporting kinship care families during the pandemic, we have helped families in 68 boroughs across England and Wales. Our dedicated team of project and advice workers have delivered much needed and life-changing support to families.
Over the next few weeks we wanted to share some personal stories from kinship carers. Today we want to share Maria’s story with you.
Maria has been a looking after her six year old nephew since he was a baby, and has had a special guardianship order for six years.
Things have been increasingly difficult for Maria during lockdown. They have been living in temporary accommodation since their former landlord needed his house back, and finding a new place to live during the COVID-19 crisis has proved extremely difficult. To compound matters, because Maria is no longer in private accommodation, her universal credit has been reduced to almost a tenth of what it was.
On top of all this, Maria is studying to be a nurse. However, due to her difficult living circumstances, she is struggling to get online for her lectures and is worried about falling behind. Understandably, this is causing great distress and she is worried this could lead to her failing her final year and ending their plans for a successful future.
Grandparents Plus advice team is investigating the reduction in Maria’s benefits and our grants team are trying to find funding for a dongle so Maria can access the internet and continue her studies from home.
Maria is resilient, she has had to be, taking on her nephew at such a young age, but her situation has felt overwhelming. She told us:
“It’s just nice to have someone to listen. I’m a strong person but I have been pushed to the limit.”
If you are a kinship carer and would like to access free support, please click here to sign up now.
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