Catherine McKinnell MP is the new Chair of the cross-party Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care. The aim of the Taskforce is to raise awareness about, and support for, children in kinship care and to highlight the importance of this option for children who cannot live with their parents.
Since the Taskforce was set up in December 2018 by former parliamentarian Anna Turley in conjunction with Family Rights Group, thousands of kinship carers and the children they are raising have shared their evidence and experiences with members of the Taskforce. Events for kinship carers have been held across England and Wales and child welfare and family justice organisations working with kinship families have also shared their ideas for change.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the launch of the Taskforce’s report and recommendations, scheduled for early May 2020, has been postponed until later in the Summer. In this time of crisis, the Taskforce has diverted its attention to the immediate needs of kinship carers.
Family Rights Group on behalf of The Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care over the Easter period conducted a survey of kinship carers’ experiences during the crisis. More than 650 kinship carers raising over a 1000 kinship care children filled in the survey. A new report has been published which sets out the survey’s findings. The Taskforce has written to the Prime Minsiter to highlight the findings and ask Government to take immediate steps to relieve the pressure on families and help ensure that placements do not break down, meaning more children would end up in the care system.
Follow the work of the Taskforce on Twitter @KinshipCarePT
Gathering your evidence and ideas
Are you a kinship carer? You can still influence the Taskforce
Contact your MP today – encourage them to get involved with the Taskforce and tell them what is most important to you.
If you are not sure who your MP is, or do not know their contact details, you can find it out through this website. To make it simpler you can download and edit a template letter for kinship carers here. The text of the draft letter also includes an invite to your MP to get involved in the Taskforce.
Alongside analysing existing research, the Taskforce are analysing the letters to identify matters of most importance to kinship carers.
The launch of the Taskforce
The Taskforce was launched at an event in Parliament on the 5th December 2018. Speakers included Nadhim Zahawi MP, then-Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families. Other speakers included kinship carer Enza and her grandson Bradley, and Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive of Family Rights Group and the founder of the Taskforce, Anna Turley..
Those attending included Alex Chalk MP, Alex Cunningham MP, Helen Hayes MP, Mike Hill MP, Kevan Jones MP, Kerry McCarthy MP, Baroness Armstrong, Baroness Drake, alongside kinship carers, civil servants from the Department for Education and representatives from organisations within the Kinship Care Alliance including Coram BAAF, Family Rights Group, Grandparents Plus, and Kinship Carers UK.
Media coverage about the Parliamentary Taskforce
Articles or interviews about the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care
- Children and Young People Now, 5 December 2018
- Kinship Carers get too little support – that has to change, by Anna Turley MP, The Times, 5 December 2018
- BBC Today in Parliament, 7 December 2018, Enza (a kinship carer) & Bradley (her grandson), Cathy Ashley (Chief Executive of Family Rights Group) and Anna Turley MP talk about why the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care has been launched (from 12 minutes 12 secs to 17min 20 sec into the programme)