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Kinship Carers Make Unique Use of Twitter to Raise Awareness

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					Kinship Carers Make Unique Use of Twitter to Raise Awareness

Kinship Carers; the independent voluntary group that offers knowledge,
experience and friendship to kinship carers looking after children from
within their family structure have been undertaking a Twitter campaign to
help raise awareness of the complex situations that exist in many
families across the UK and beyond.

Oxford, England, August 29, 2012 -- Kinship Carers; the independent
voluntary group that offers knowledge, experience and friendship to
kinship carers looking after children from within their family structure
have been undertaking a Twitter campaign to help raise awareness of the
complex situations that exist in many families across the UK and beyond.

Whilst being a very common occurrence in many UK families, kinship caring
is a little known or understood arrangement, which is why Kinship Carers
have been undertaking an innovative social media exercise to publicise
and educate carers, other organisations and the wider public about how
they work.

A kinship carer is someone who looks after a child who is either related
to, or has a pre-existing relationship with that child. Whereas foster
carers look after children as a vocation, a kinship carer takes
responsibility of the child due to a variety of reasons such as
bereavement, drugs, alcohol or neglect by the natural parents. This is
often with no prior warning or planning.

The amount of children looked after in this way is astounding! One in 77
children in the UK (and similar figures in other countries around the
developed world) are raised full time by friends or family members who
are not the child's biological parents. Whilst the figures are
extraordinary, it does not tell the full story of the challenges faced by
kinship carers when they receive the call from Social Services saying
they are needed to look after a child that they know who is in need.

The call is usually the start of a journey for a carer who has to ensure
that their primary concern is the child in their care. Before the call,
they are unaware of their rights. As a result they face challenges which
can include conflict with the biological parents and, in many cases,
their wider relatives. Kinship Carers have to handle, and protect the
children from the start of the relationship and during such pressure
topics as contact visits needing supervision; intrusive assessments by
local authorities; financial hardship; legal bills and lack of support.

Kinship carers from the UK, Australia and the USA have come together in a
unique campaign that is currently being run using Twitter. It is the
journey of a kinship carer from the moment the initial call is made to
the end of the story and is communicated via Tweets as if it were real
life. The one big difference is that is that the story is simplified!
Many carers around the world face scenarios so challenging and outrageous
that they become unbelievable and could not be covered in the Twitter
campaign, but that does not undermine its effectiveness.
The original concept was to present the scenario as "soap opera" with
constructed situations, but as the campaign has evolved, it has already
taken a life of its own with individuals and organisations offering
advice and support to Tweeters not realising they are not real
characters.

The latest situation in the saga is available going to
http://kinshipcarers.co.uk/Unique-Awareness-Project.php

#Kintender has been created to link the Tweets together and this hashtag
has already started to be used by interested parties in relation to
kinship care topics online.

For further information, please contact Charlie James: Email:
kinshipfostercarers@gmail.com, Website: kinshipcarers.co.uk

About Kinship carers:
Kinship carers is an independent voluntary group formed to provide help
and support to carers who are in the position of looking after children
of relatives or friends as they are not able to do so. It provides
information, knowledge, experience and friendship as well as pointing
carers in the right direction regarding legal matters and other avenues
of support for them and the children they care for.

Contact:
Charlie James
Kinship carers
Oxford, England
kinshipfostercarers@gmail.com
http://kinshipcarers.co.uk/

				
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Description: Kinship Carers; the independent voluntary group that offers knowledge, experience and friendship to kinship carers looking after children from within their family structure have been undertaking a Twitter campaign to help raise awareness of the complex situations that exist in many families across the UK and beyond.