Kinship Care Week 2023

Cumbria Fostering celebrates the county’s kinship carers during Kinship Care Week 2023

Cumbria Fostering is supporting Kinship Care Week 2023, which launches next week, with a campaign to celebrate more than 400 kinship carers across Cumbria who are raising children who are not their own.

The vital role played by kinship carers will be celebrated from Monday 2 October, when the awareness week launches across England and Wales.

Kinship carers are relatives or family friends who step up to raise a child whose parents are not able to care for them. Kinship carers can be grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, relatives or family friends.

Kinship Care Week aims to increase visibility of children raised in kinship care and celebrate the enormous efforts and sacrifices of those caring for them.

Across the UK there are growing numbers of people who are becoming kinship carers – with more than 162,000 children being raised in kinship care in England and Wales alone.

In Cumbria we have more than 300 families with Special Guardianship Orders and around 100 families currently fostering or being assessed to foster a family member. These figures don’t include children subject to child arrangement orders or private family arrangements.

Kay, from Whitehaven has been a kinship carer for nine years. She said: “I became a kinship carer for my two nieces and nephew back in 2014 after the death of their father. The eldest was 11 years old, the youngest just three when they came to live with us.  My husband and I had been planning how to spend our retirement but that all changed overnight and we were thrown into a very different world of raising children.

“The early days were particularly hard, not least because we felt we were the only ones in this situation – there was nowhere to go to for help. Later, of course, I discovered that there are nearly 200,000 children in the UK living in kinship care.  Despite this, there is still very low recognition and understanding of what kinship care is, and carers are frequently having to explain themselves to friends, health professionals, teachers etc. This is why I’m celebrating Kinship Care Week, and hope that people will recognise the profound commitment and love kinship carers have for the children they care for.

“Earlier this year, with the support of the charity, Kinship, and Cumberland Council, I set up a local peer support group. We meet once a month in Whitehaven to have a coffee and chat. It’s a chance to meet up with others in a similar situation and share experiences, advice and generally just try and support each other.

“Nine years on and the sacrifices have been worth it; we offered the children a stable, permanent home and they were able to stay together.  They have a bright future and we take joy from all their achievements.”

During the national awareness week, Cumbria Fostering is inviting our kinship carers to attend a ‘coffee and chat session’ in their local area. The sessions will give kinship carers the opportunity to meet up with other local kinship carers and members of our Kinship Care Team will also be attending each session.

Attend an event during Kinship Care Week:

Monday 2 October – Ulverston – from 1pm to 3pm
Tuesday 3 October – Carlisle – from 10am to 12pm
Wednesday 4 October – Whitehaven – from 1.30pm to 3pm
Thursday 5 October – Kendal – from 1pm to 3pm

If you would like to attend one of our events please email our Kinship Care Team at and let them know the date of the session you’d like to attend and the names of all people attending and a member of the team will respond with details of the venue.

Cumbria Fostering’s Kinship Care Team manager, Sam Moffatt, said: “It is wonderful to be able to come together to celebrate the inspirational kinship carers we have here in Cumbria during Kinship Care Week. Our kinship carers come forward to provide loving, stable homes for children they care about, preventing hundreds of children entering the care system. They often overcome staggering challenges to ensure children grow up with all the love, care and support they deserve.”

To find out more about the support on offer for kinship carers in Cumbria, please visit

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