Who we work with
Last Updated on Monday, 22 April 2013 10:23
"We accessed 31 small grants for families in the year 2012/13. The grants ranged from white goods to furniture, and bedding to beds. I received so many thank you messages which just makes it all so worthwhile." Welfare Benefit Advisor 2012/2013
Buttle UK runs a Small Grants programme which provides a high quality, personal, and fast response to families living in crisis, when there is no one else that can help. Families living in poverty in the UK can often lack basic items such as a bed, a cooker, a fridge-freezer or a washing machine. Buttle UK provide these through grants which can offer relief from a critical situation. They work with over 5000 voluntary sector or local authority partners across the UK, and are able to target support at those most in need: children and young people living with severe medical, emotional, social and financial issues.
The Grandparents' Association is grateful for Buttle UK's financial support enabling families to feel supported with small grants at a time when they are coping with so much.
"We accessed 52 holidays for our families in the year 2012/2013 providing families with much needed breaks" Gill Perks, Welfare Agent
The Family Holiday Association is a charity that gives families a break and works to promote the quality of family life for those parents and children who experience disadvantage as a result of poverty through the provision of and by promoting access to holidays and other recreational activities. In 2012, they hope to help over 2,000 families directly. All the families they help live on a very low income. For them, a holiday is not a luxury; it is an essential break to help them cope with difficult circumstances. It may also be their first ever holiday.
The Grandparents' Association acts as Welfare Agents referring holiday applications on behalf of grandparents to this charity and in 2012/2013 enabled 52 families to have a holiday.
The Alliance on Family Contact (AOFC) AOFC is an alliance of organisations, brought together by the Grandparents’ Association, with the aim of raising raise awareness of the impact of family breakdown and the importance of maintaining and nurturing positive relationships between children and key family members. AOFC works to advance a positive process and understanding in relation to family breakdown, and to promote implementation of cultural change, research and sharing of information to benefit children affected by it.
AOFC urges policy makers, both national and local to:
1. Do more to actively promote positive, nurturing, and safe relationships between children and both their parents.
2. Review the requirement that grandparents have to apply for leave to go to court for a residence or contact order – this can unnecessarily delay a key process for deciding whether a child should have continuing contact with family members.
3. Give effect to the intention of the Children Act in that when parents are not living together, children should maintain meaningful relationships with both parents and other key family members.
4. Provide readily available and accessible services and support for families affected by family breakdown.
5. Effectively facilitate the distribution of Public Money to support parenting, including child benefit and child tax credit, to enable both parents to play the fullest possible part in their child’s upbringing.
For further information:
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01279 428040
Kids in the Middle
This is a coalition of key organisations and individuals who are campaigning to support children experiencing conflict in their families.
The Kinship Care Alliance is an informal network of voluntary organisations, local authorities and academics working with or having an interest in family and friends care. The Alliance has been meeting since 2006 and is led by the Family Rights Group. The Kinship Care Alliance campaigns for greater recognition, respect and reward for family and friends (‘kinship’) carers. They emphasise that children being raised by their grandparents are in a unique situation and the contribution that family and friends carers make, due to a deep commitment and love, to the lives of these children, is often at great expense to their own emotional and physical health as well as financial circumstances. Link: http://www.frg.org.uk/kinship_care_alliance_campaign.html The Kinship Care Alliance calls on all politicians to support the following:1. That Government collects and publishes official statistics on children being raised by family and friends carers and places a duty on local authorities to collect local data.
2. To enable more children to be raised within their family network by:
Placing a duty on local authorities to:
- Publish accessible policies and procedures in relation to family and friends care;
- Explore all safe alternatives for the child’s care within their family network when a child may be removed from home;
- Commission independent advice and information for relatives when a child cannot live at home;
- Offer a family group conference to the child and their family before (or immediately afterwards in an emergency) care proceedings are commenced.
- Ensuring such duties are properly funded by the Government.
3. To implement a new safe, effective approach to assessment of family and friends as potential carers
Relevant Government guidance and regulations recognize family and friends carers as a specific group (distinct from unrelated foster care) who require tailored policies and support and a bespoke assessment process.
4. To support children in family and friends care to reach their full potential by:
- Amending legislation so that children are treated as children in need, and therefore have a right to assessment of their needs;
- Placing a duty on local authorities to establish and commission family and friends care support services, including help with contact, help with children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties and setting up local support groups for carers.“My wife is 75, I am 74. We are both severely disabled, the stress financially and healthwise is immense and we could do with some help please.”
5. To tackle poverty and end financial discrimination against family and friends carers by:
- Ending the current postcode lottery related to financial support and introducing a national financial allowance for family and friends carers who are raising children who cannot live with the parents;
“I had to leave a well-paid job, I struggle every day with bills, I go hungry to feed my grandson... we don’t have holidays, I have to go without any social life to afford to keep him.”
- Ensuring family and friends carers, who are permanently raising a child, are given the same exemption as unrelated foster carers and temporary family and friends carers in relation to income support rules vs. Job Seeker’s Allowance;
- Amending the legal aid rules for family and friends carers to cover their legal costs in order to secure the child’s permanent future with them.
For further information:
1. Lobby your MP by writing to them to ask them to support the manifesto.
2. Sign up to the manifesto. Find out which MP's have pledged to the Kinship Care Alliance manifesto.
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