Who Are We?
We are made up of a group of organisations which subscribe to a set of shared aims and beliefs on the issue of family and friends care. We meet regularly to develop a joint policy agenda and agree strategies to promote our aims.
We believe that children and young people are best placed with family and friends where it is in the child’s best interests and safe to do so, and that these families should receive support and help to do this.
Aim and mission statement
The aims of the KCA are to:
- Prevent children from being unnecessarily raised outside of their family network.
- Ensure that the opportunities and resources available to children living with kinship carers maximise their chances of positive outcomes.
- Secure improved recognition and support for family and friends carers and the children they are raising.
To focus on and enable these objectives to be met we will:
- Raise awareness of the advantages, strengths and opportunity that kinship care provides to children.
- Influence policy, service delivery, professional practice and legislation in respect of kinship care and agree an annual work plan which will be reviewed regularly at KCA meetings and by the executive group.
Membership is open to organisations that:
- Are a legal entity.
- Support the KCA aims.
- Share KCA’s beliefs and values.
- Are committed to tackling discrimination and disadvantage and to promoting equality and the commitment to tackling discrimination, including in respect of (but not restricted to) ethnicity, gender, religious and cultural beliefs, disability, sexuality and age.
- Membership is open to individuals with particular expertise, and who will join in an advisory capacity to inform the work of the KCA. Such individuals join in their individual capacity and will not necessarily represent any organisation.
The process for applying for, and being granted, membership is:
- The prospective member must make a written request to join the KCA to any member of the KCA executive committee.
- The approach must come from a chief executive or equivalent of the applicant organisation.
- A copy of the written request shall be circulated to all members of the KCA executive committee.
- The application for members shall be determined by the KCA executive committe.
KCA chair – John Simmonds, Director of Research and Policy
Chair’s term of office: three years
Pre-requisites for candidacy: Must be a member of the KCA
Process for recruitment and appointment:
- Invitation to apply for role announced by KCA.
- Applicants must submit a written statement (500 words) setting out why they wish to be considered for the post.
- Election to be conducted electronically.
- One vote per organisation, one vote per individual member.
KCA executive group
Name: Executive committee
- Wider KCA membership shall agree members of executive committee.
- When determining who is on the executive committee, KCA members are:
(i) determining the organisation that is sitting on the committee; and
(ii) may also be determining the particular role that a committee member will have (e.g. to provide expertise in relation to a particular issue/area; to lead on a specific stream of committee activity).
- An organisation can have more than one member on the executive committee (one organisation, one vote” and consensus based decision-making will apply however (see below)
Term: 3 years
Size: KCA Chair plus a maximum of 6 others
- Committee decision-making shall be by consensus on a “one organisation, one vote” basis.
- In the absence of consensus, the matter/issue at hand shall go to full membership for further discussion.
- External individuals/organisations may be invited to attend to discuss a particular issue or help to inform the committee’s decisions and decision-making.
Frequency and form of meetings:
- One month prior to each full KCA membership meeting.
- Meetings to be virtual or in person as appropriate.
- A Work plan development.
- Agreeing a work plan.
- Delivering a work plan.
- Evaluation of the work plan.
- Promote the engagement of KCA members.
New cross-party Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care
Anna Turley MP, with the support of Family Rights Group and the Kinship Care Alliance, has set up Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care. The aim is to raise awareness about, and support for, children in kinship care (also known as family and friends care) and to highlight the importance of this option for children who cannot live with their parents.
Agenda for Action 2017 – please support our campaign
The Kinship Care Alliance has published an Agenda for Action setting out recommendations that we think need to be implemented following the general election 2017.
We want to see the following changes:
- That children who cannot live with their parents are able to grow up within their wider family wherever possible, taking account of children's wishes and feelings.
- That children living in family and friends care are not overlooked and have their needs met.
- That children and their family and carers are not plunged into poverty and are assisted not penalised by the benefits and welfare system.
- That family and friends carers have access to free legal advice and information services to protect the children.
- That family and friends carers are enabled to stay in work and not forced to give up their jobs when taking on the care of the children.