Recent research estimates that one in 77 children is in kinship care with this figure likely to increase. Kinship carers are grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends, who care for children because their natural parents are unable to do so. With our National Lottery funds here are the Big Lottery Fund we are supporting carers across Scotland.
Today’s grant of £477,799 to the Glasgow based Notre Dame Centre for its Direct Support for Children and Carers in Kinship Care project will offer play therapy sessions and the assistance of a social worker to help children and young people develop coping strategies to overcome the issues they have experienced. Kinship carers will also receive social worker support and participate in group sessions, to support them in their caring role.
Manager Gail Taylor, said, “This grant will enable us to provide therapeutic support to children and young people in kinship care, who have experienced very distressing and traumatic events in their lives while living with parents who were not able to provide safe care for them. The children have often moved from place to place and have no stability or predictable adults in their life. This grant will offer us the means and support to respond to the significant number of children in kinship care and their carers.”
Heather Alcorn, 55, from Glasgow was awarded kinship care of her two grandchildren six years ago. She said, “Both children have had problems because of what they have been through. My granddaughter is very withdrawn and my grandson can be aggressive. They both have attachment issues and often don’t want me to go anywhere without them.”
“For the last two years as a family we’ve gone to the Notre Dame Centre. The children have done play therapy and I can honestly say that it’s helped them both immensely. It’s a better way for them to work through the turmoil that they have experienced and they can vocalise it. I can go and talk to a counsellor and get advice and support from them about situations that have come up that week.”
Heather said, “The Notre Dame Centre has made 100 per cent difference to our family. The journey we have gone through has been very, very hard. We are qualified in loving our children but we are not qualified in helping them psychologically and we need help and support to get professional help to provide that.”