Foster and Kinship Carers Week is a special time for us all to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible contribution carers make to the lives of children and young people in care.
At the Guardian’s office, we meet so many amazing carers and hear their stories. Most importantly, we see first-hand the difference they make to a child’s life when they open up their hearts and homes, and welcome children into their families.
And who better to say what a difference carers make than children themselves! Here are some of the things that children and young people have told the Guardian’s advocates about what their carers mean to them:
“You may not have parents, but you still have people in the world who love you.”
“It’s good. Let’s just say I like older people – they’re not too complicated and they know how to be nice.”
“Grandma looks after me very well.”
We know that the road travelled by carers, while rewarding, also comes with its challenges – attending appointments and participating in regular care team meetings, having visits from agency support workers and case managers, and advocating for children’s support needs to be met.
“I know I always appreciate the efforts of kinship and foster carers in raising the voices of children, especially when they provide the platform for children to speak loud and strong, this really matters,” said Guardian for Children and Young People, Shona Reid.
Carers have a really important role in the out-of-home care system, and very much play their part in ‘the village’ it takes to raise a child. In the words of the Guardian’s Principal Advocate, Merike Mannik:
“I am in awe of grandparent carers, who, after having raised their own children into adulthood, have taken on the role of bringing up their grandchildren in later life. The energy, commitment and fierce love that I see is so heartening, knowing that many children are growing up strong in their own families.”
The team at the Guardian’s office say thank you to all the amazing kinship and foster carers!