Kinship Care support children who can’t be raised by their parents for a variety of reasons.

The charity helps children who are being raised by family members, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings. There are five support centres across Northern Ireland providing a range of support services for children and their carers.

Emma is one of the local volunteers who has been involved in running two six-week personal development programmes. With the money raised from Black Santa the plan is to create a homework club. The focus is on helping grandparents who are elderly carers to adapt to new technologies as support for all generations. Kinship care is overcoming barriers, with a focus on the children being equal and creating lifelong friendships for the children. Covid restrictions and lockdowns have impacted greatly on the services Kinship care is able to provide.

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What was the money raised last year put towards?

A grant of £1,000 was raised with last year’s Black Santa Appeal to help children and young people across Northern Ireland. This grant supported 1,100 children involved with Kinship Care.

What is the money this year going towards?

The aim of the Black Santa Appeal this year is the focus on the homework club with a new centre opening in Belfast. The focus of the homework club is to aid relatives to facilitate children adapting to new technology with a focus on safeguarding around social media.

Across the whole of Northern Ireland there are 1,100 children involved with Kinship care. Emma runs different groups four days a week, from the baby and toddler group right up until they are 18. The aim of the service is to promote a safe place for the children to come together and have fun. Kinship care supports the family unit alongside local social services.

The focus of Kinship care is to incorporate mental health support for young people as they help through every stage of their development.