I wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of the professionals out there who I have met over the last few years who really care and work hard to try to change the system for kinship families. So many professionals have told me about the amazing work that they do, what works well, and also what they feel needs to change. All of that anecdotal evidence has shaped my understanding of kinship care and has shown me what is possible when professionals work in partnership with families.
I am carrying out research exploring sibling-headed kinship families and would like to include this practice experience and wisdom in my PhD research. We have such rich seams of practice across the UK but often there are huge differences between what is happening in Scotland compared with Wales, or Liverpool compared with Devon.
I plan to include professionals of all types in my PhD research in lots of ways, including interviews and focus groups. My starting point for this is a survey where I ask for examples of practice with sibling-headed kinship families, and ideas around what we need to do to ensure that these families are supported to thrive. You don’t need to have explicitly worked with siblings who are kinship carers – your experience of working with any kinship carers will be very relevant.
Many of the conversations I have had so far have raised important issues and considerations, as well as wonderful examples of life changing practice. So if you have a little time could you please complete this survey so we can begin to unpick what we need to do to ensure that sibling-headed kinship families get the best of what we have to offer.
Please share far and wide so I can include the broadest range of ideas and experiences in this research.