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Kinship Care Week webinar: How can professionals support kinship care families?

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Kinship Care Week is an opportunity to recognise the selfless work of kinship carers, raise awareness of kinship care in the community, and promote best practice among kinship care professionals.

In this webinar, we will hear from Heather McVeigh, Director of Mentor Scotland, about Mentor's work with kinship carers over the past 13 years. We will also provide professionals with information and resources for how to support kinship care families they work with, based on our Early Help Model training materials.

For more information, go to http://mentoruk.org.uk/kinshipcareweek/

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Kinship Care Week webinar: How can professionals support kinship care families?

  1. 1. How can professionals support kinship carers? #KinshipCareWeek
  2. 2. • Introduce Mentor, ADEPIS and CAYT • Define kinship care • Outline Kinship Care Week • Explore what kinship carers’ needs are, esp. around substance misuse in children • Get to know more about drugs and alcohol and their impact on young people • Talk about why awareness of substance misuse is important for kinship carers Today’s webinar
  3. 3. Mentor’s mission To promote the health and wellbeing of children and young people and prevent alcohol and drug misuse.
  4. 4. Research Programmes Policy Develop life skills that build resilience to risk in children & young people How we do it
  5. 5. Mentor-ADEPIS is publicly acknowledged as the leading source of evidence-based resources for alcohol and drug education and prevention for schools. Mentor-ADEPIS
  6. 6. In 2015 ADEPIS was expanded to include the Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions (CAYT) database of impact studies. CAYT
  7. 7. Mentor-ADEPIS seminars • CAYT seminars • Teacher training Plus… • The Mentor Community of Evidence-based Practice
  8. 8. Kinship care is an arrangement for a family member or close friend to care for children whose parents are unable to look after them. What is kinship care?
  9. 9. The most common reason for children entering kinship care is parental drug and alcohol abuse (67%). Reasons for kinship care
  10. 10. In young people, drugs and alcohol can: • contribute to poor judgment and bad decisions • increase the chances of getting into fights, accidents and other dangerous situations • damage the growing body and developing brain • lead to addiction during adolescence (though evidence suggests this doesn’t happen a lot) Why is this important?
  11. 11. Mentor’s kinship care work
  12. 12. Our experience shows that kinship carers play a vital role in keeping children safe from drugs and alcohol. Their attitudes and behaviours can help shape young people’s views on drink and drugs. The role of kinship carers
  13. 13. A recent study found that 77% of kinship carers have asked for professional support... Why are we here today?
  14. 14. Practically? Emotionally? Financially? What do kinship carers need:
  15. 15. • Knowledge about key issues • Advice on how to talk about substances • Education and training • Knowing what to do if they’re concerned • Peer and one-to-one support • Help lines or a point of contact • Resources and further information. Practical needs
  16. 16. • Empathy and gentleness • Encouragement and positivity • Cared for to feel they’re not alone • That they can make a positive difference • A non-judgmental, non-blaming attitude • Awareness or understanding of their situation – and that it could happen to anyone. Emotional needs
  17. 17. Make sure you communicate these two important facts to kinship carers: 1. They did not cause their son or daughter’s alcohol or other drug problems. Neither did the child. 2. The carer and their children can’t cure the parents’ alcohol or drug problems, but they can encourage them to seek treatment and support.
  18. 18. • Understanding what kind of carer you are and what support is there • Child Benefit? Tax Credits? Kinship Carer Allowance? • Paying for food, clothes, school supplies, toys • Supporting yourselves as well Financial needs
  19. 19. • One-to-one support • Peer support groups • Couples’ therapy • Family group conferencing • Drop-in sessions • Educational groups • Respite services Types of support
  20. 20. Drugs Image: The Guardian
  21. 21. New Psychoactive Substances
  22. 22. Alcohol
  23. 23. DO: • Pick the right time • Start the discussion early, and keep talking • Remind them drinking is not the norm • Place limits and consequences on behaviour • Be nurturing and express warmth • Encourage children to express opinions • Use adverts, or soap stories to spark the topic • Ask what they’ve learned about drugs at school Advice for carers
  24. 24. DON’T: • Tell them to ‘just say no’ – it’s not effective • Exaggerate the harms – you’ll sound less credible • Preach, use scare tactics, sound angry or accusatory. • Try and get everything across in one go. Many small talks are better. • Interrogate them about what they’ve been up to when you’re not around. • Panic. If your child has tried drugs, be calm when discussing it with them.
  25. 25. Rules and boundaries about drinking mean young people are less likely to get drunk. This means kinship carers should set boundaries and reward children if they stick to them. If they break the rules, consequences should be consistent and fair. Recommendations for carers
  26. 26. If a kinship carer is concerned, encourage them to: • Get information from sources with specialist knowledge, online or in person. • Get support for themselves, too, and find someone they can talk to and trust. Where carers can go for help
  27. 27. Kinship Care Guide for England
  28. 28. Alcohol & Drugs: Guide for Kinship Carers
  29. 29. Kinship Care Guide for Scotland
  30. 30. Resources + advice
  31. 31. #KinshipCareWeek For more information visit mentoruk.org.uk/kinshipcareweek

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